Yesterday, I had the unique opportunity to have lunch with my principal, a few classmates and teachers. The discussion that ensued was rich with ideas and interesting perspectives. One of the topics we hit on produced some tantalizing food for thought: our ideal futuristic school– what skills are important, what criterion are key and what ought to be preserved from the current model.
My dream school would foster creativity and incorporate hands on learning modules as mentioned by Sir Ken Robinson in his various TED talks. Technology empirically fuels innovation and by incorporating it into schools, the potential for expanding our learning and creativity is immense. School should be less structured and enable kids to WANT to learn, want to communicate and listen. I want a school where students can adapt to situations and take the initiative to figure out how material is relevant. On that note, problems with real life applications are important for classes to have meaning and relevance. Free time needs to remain a fixture in schools, because students need the quick break from a rigorous schedule. Ideally, students could “go to classes as they please,” accomplishing what they need at their own pace and filling dead class time with interesting learning. In this dead time, students should care enough to assist their peers when they understand the concept. By teaching others, the student teacher ends up retaining and internalizing the information more. In this dream school, everybody is learning together, not as elder and younger but as joint learners. The goal of school is to learn, to grow our knowledge, to be able to reach the answer on our own. Teachers are guidance, aiding us along the way. When students are motivated and passionate about class, you’re learning for fun…the ideal is learning to learn.
School needs to fulfill its mission to prepare students for the future, by helping them gain certain skills. The ability to communicate clearly, listen to others and soak up what they’re saying is crucial. Students need to learn to accept failure and have the patience to understand or listen to others. However, impatience can drive action and motivate students to learn further. In a world that we can’t predict, being able to take a risk, ask probing questions and solve problems will be key. It’s also important that students have the basic values trust, acceptance and honesty.
If you have any other things that you think would be good additions, please comment. 😀