Questions about Designing a School of the Future

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Wesley Fryer outlined how he thinks future schools, e.g., school 2.0, should be arranged, specifically using project based learning. He emphasizes creativity and empathy in schools. Wesley makes sense, as do those who took time to comment about his suggestions. I added the following comment:

I’m a teacher. I like creative people. Creativity requires content and processes to change and extend. So, I’ve mostly used traditional, independent learning, and hide-and-seek instructional procedures in classes. Students and teachers waste time with these procedures. Let me suggest a different approach for school 2.0: directness.

Why not directly tell students answers to questions someone thinks are important for students to know? Tell them the answers to achievement tests, spelling tests, math tests, so they can recite these answers when they come across their questions.

Yes, have students memorize and test them to make sure they can repeat the process, poem, times tables, etc. Spend about 20 minutes a day on several of selected processes or content, such as the codes for standard English reading code, math, science, etc.

Use software programs on mobile PCs assigned to each student the way they now use textbooks.

Spend the rest of the day using these skills to meet criteria for successful generalization of these principles.

Interestingly, such processes, minus the Tablet and UMPC have been used successfully throughout civilization. What’s so different now?

The largest empirical education research project conducted in the U.S. showed these steps worked better than other school instruction-learning processes, whether based on traditional teacher talk, project based, discovery learning, independent learning, etc.

Teachers know these facts. They learned them in professional preparation classes, or at least were exposed to them in assigned or supplemental readings.

Why are we trying to experiment with hide-and-seek activities with students who need to know more and faster or be left further behind in a global economy?

Are teachers using political philosophies as substitutes for learning theories?

What do you think, Tableteers? What will you emphasize in school 2.0?

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Robert Heiny
Robert W. Heiny, Ph.D. is a retired professor, social scientist, and business partner with previous academic appointments as a public school classroom teacher, senior faculty, or senior research member, and administrator. Appointments included at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Peabody College and the Kennedy Center now of Vanderbilt University; and Brandeis University. Dr. Heiny also served as Director of the Montana Center on Disabilities. His peer reviewed contributions to education include publication in [I]The Encyclopedia of Education [/I](1971), and in professional journals and conferences. He served s an expert reviewer of proposals to USOE, and on a team that wrote plans for 12 state-wide and multistate special education and preschools programs. He currently writes user guides for educators and learners as well as columns for [I]TuxReports[/I].com.