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Wednesday, 15 July 2009

21st Century Schools

Since its publication in June of this year I have struggled to understand the implications of this White Paper.

It sounds good, is full of promises and some fine examples from outstanding schools. However, it seems to be propounding 'more of the same' rather than looking to new approaches. I cannot see throughout the document how 21st Century Schools will be any different to what we have NOW, nevermind in the future.

For some time now we have understood the implications of a 'flat world' and that has been developed further in Peter Bradwell's paper, 'The Edgeless University'.

I therefore see schools in a similar light. We have discussed the inestimable merits of formative assessment through the e-Portfolio many times. Along with the Home Access Programme we will soon have a near 100% on-line access for all our learners. In schools I see the 'expert' teacher not only being called upon by students in their own class, but also from other classes and other year-groups and even from other schools, 24/7/365. And why stop there? What about adult learners or collaboration with colleagues or professionals around the world? Perhaps the whole issue of contracts and conditions of service needs to be re-appriased in the light of on-line learning communities?

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