Some things proposed for these ideal Schools of the Future were;
Smaller classes (most people said 10 – 14 students)
Classes not arranged by chronological age, but level of knowledge, skills and potential (and this is the norm, so students don’t have any kind of stigma involved with being the ‘big kid’ in the class).
More freedom for students as to where they go for recess and lunch.
Student choice as to what they learn.
Behaviour management not being about punishment but accountability.
Teachers being paid more than lawyers or doctors.
Some of my favourite suggestions were;
Virtual teaching scenarios. You want to learn about the American Civil War? Here it is!
Watch Teleporters that students can use to go wherever they want for lunch and recess… but teachers control them, just in case.
Instant download of information, every student has a barcode and a program they can access. Need to know how to tie your shoelaces? Zip! It’s done.
The ethical and moral dilemmas in each of these situations were wilfully ignored by all us pre-service teachers.
I usually think of myself as an optimist, but you know what? I’m beginning to think I’ve got a very pessimistic view of the world. I don’t for a minute think any of these things are going to happen, and in some cases I don’t even think they’re things I want to happen. Instant knowledge? Students able to go wherever they want? Multi-age classrooms? I think there are problems inherent in all of these situations.