Thursday, 4 October 2012

What Should a 21st Century Classroom Look Like?

I had the pleasure of listening to Lee Crockett ( address the ACEL 2012 Inquiry Mindset conference this morning. He was very easy to listen to and made a few points that stuck in my mind.

His topic was "What should a 21st Century classroom look like?"

He was not really interested in the architecture or soft furnishings. The main issue was what was happening, the educational process, and how it was being played out.

So, some interesting comments:

1. He quoted a comment from Woodrow Wilson: "It is easier to move a cemetery than it is to change a school, though they are very similar actions." I may have misquoted this quote, but I am in good company.  I googled the quote to clarify what it actually was and found several variations on this theme, all attributed to WW. The point was the change does not come readily to schools.

2. Creativity enhances the value of the function through the form. The idea here was that if any item in the world can be mass produced at minimal cost in a factory in China, then we need to use our creativity to make our product look good or no-one will bother buying it.

3. Relevance + Creativity + Real World = 21st Century Learning
This, I hope, is something I endeavor to promote in my classroom and record in this blog.

4. "Teaching as Talking" vs "Learning as Doing" - learning is active, not passive.

5. Final point that impressed me was that all the left-brain, serial, sequential, process jobs that our Industrial Age education system prepared us so well for have all but disappeared or been taken off-shore. The growth area in employment focuses on creativity and problem solving - divergent dentists, creative chiropractors, artistic engineers....

Oh brave, new world that has such people in it.

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