What are Future Schools?
Whilst the school curriculum is still very much about the 3 R’s – reading, writing and arithmetic and these core competencies will remain in future schools, problem solving, critical thinking and innovation are making an in road via Project Based Learning.
Engaging students in the material teaches them to analyse and evaluate information (critical thinking), to be imaginative and inventive (creativity), to innovate and to work together and share ideas (co-operation).
Students need exposure to many experiences until they find their passion. For this reason, they need a rich curriculum that allows them to pursue their interests and have time to explore them. Education is being reinvented with a more personalised approach where students choose their own curriculum and go learn themselves. A culture of constant improvement supports this as it encourages students to keep trying, and to use creativity and innovation to succeed.
The role of the teacher becomes that of a mentor, providing guidance through activities and topics of interest. We know people learn by observing and imitating, so learning among peers is a sure way to success. It inspires students to realise their potential.
Classrooms are effectively becoming studio’s, filled with tools to read, write, explore, draw, create, tinker and problem solve. The work output is then displayed and exhibited for others to learn from.
Seeing what other students have invented motivates students to want to imitate, to tap into their own creative energy, to break with convention, to try to do things differently, to use trial and error and to be able to make mistakes, learn and share their expertise.
This collaborative pedagogy models the behaviour students need for work. To provide self direction, to set goals, assess activities, to create their own content and questions and to present confidently.
We then take it to the next level and learn empathy for others. Spending less time on homework and allowing kids to have more time with family to nurture relationships teaches them how to be good citizens with a sense of community, this builds a strong society and promote future well-being.
Header Image: Holmes Miller Architects: Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh UK