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Who Says This is The Classroom of the Future?

The New York Times has recently published several very good and seemingly unrelated articles…let’s try and connect some dots. What if we questioned the very premise behind naming some classrooms the “classrooms of the future” simply because they have been adding technology in literally mindless ways? What if the Education of the Future (sometimes also referred to as “21st Century Skills”) wasn’t so much about the How we educate but about the What we want students to learn and develop, applying what we know about mind and brain to the needs they are likely to face during the next 50-70 years of their lives?

In Classroom of Future, Stagnant Scores:

  • “The digital push here aims to go far beyond gadgets to transform the very nature of the classroom, turning the teacher into a guide instead of a lecturer, wandering among students who learn at their own pace on Internet-connected devices.”
  • “Hope and enthusiasm are soaring here. But not test scores.”

School Curriculum Falls Short on Bigger Lessons:

  • “Now that children are back in the classroom, are they really learning the lessons that will help them succeed?”
  • “Many child development experts worry that the answer may be no. They say the ever-growing emphasis on academic performance and test scores means many children aren’t developing life skills like self-control, motivation, focus and resilience”

Steve Pinker’s review of WILLPOWER: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength

  • “Ever since Adam and Eve ate the apple, Ulysses had himself tied to the mast, the grasshopper sang while the ant stored food and St. Augustine prayed “Lord make me chaste — but not yet,” individuals have struggled with self-control. In today’s world this virtue is all the more vital, because now that we have largely tamed the scourges of nature, most of our troubles are self-inflicted. We eat, drink, smoke and gamble too much, max out our credit cards, fall into dangerous liaisons and become addicted to heroin, cocaine and e-mail.”

A couple of in-depth interviews on What the education of the future could deal with in more explicit and targeted ways:

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  1. Might be interesting to have a glance at http://futurelearn.org, considering future of learning starts today.

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