National Academies Press: OpenBook

Reinventing Schools: The Technology is Now! (1995)

Chapter: A NEW MODEL FOR EDUCATION

« Previous: NETWORKING K–12 EDUCATION
Suggested Citation:"A NEW MODEL FOR EDUCATION." National Research Council. 1995. Reinventing Schools: The Technology is Now!. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9485.
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Suggested Citation:"A NEW MODEL FOR EDUCATION." National Research Council. 1995. Reinventing Schools: The Technology is Now!. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9485.
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Page 12
Suggested Citation:"A NEW MODEL FOR EDUCATION." National Research Council. 1995. Reinventing Schools: The Technology is Now!. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9485.
×
Page 13
Suggested Citation:"A NEW MODEL FOR EDUCATION." National Research Council. 1995. Reinventing Schools: The Technology is Now!. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9485.
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Page 14

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Schools tendto students sat in neat rows with the teacher in front. Schools sought to be an efficient “In the information age, the reflect the societies social institution that could turn out iden- human beings that industry tical products. Students learned enough in whichtheyareem- to work at jobs that they would probably needs are those who can do keep for much of their lives. bedded. In America before their own thinking, get Today many students still attend factory the Civil War, little book learning actively involved, work in -model schools. Much of the day is spent was needed to manage what was passively listening to lectures. Many classes teams, and be innovative, for most people still an agrarian life. teach skills for jobs that either no longer not merely industrious. The School started relatively late in the day exist or will not exist in their present form problem is, the factory and ended early to leave time for chores. when students grow up. In summer, school let out entirely so It is clear that yesterday’s innovation model school, which doesn’t children could help their parents in the has become today’s obstacle to change. encourage those qualities, is fields. Education was narrow in scope, Only about 20 percent of the employed still with us and needs to be controlled largely by the teacher, and population now works in factories or on focused predominantly on basic skills. farms. People graduating from high replaced with a new kind of In that world, the model of education school or college will average six to eight schooling that does.” embodied in the one-room schoolhouse jobs over the course of a career, many of —BILL BLAKEMORE , ABC N EWS was sufficient. Teachers taught reading, them requiring skills that are unforeseen writing, and elementary mathematics to today. About half of all employed Ameri- complement the skills students learned cans work with information—analyzing outside school. Since relatively few stu- information that already exists, generating dents progressed even as far as high new information, storing and retrieving school, the need for higher levels of edu- information. Soon a major portion of cation was minimal. this group will not even work in an office, By the end of the 19th century, more much less a factory, but at home. and more of the population was settling This postindustrial form of society in cities and going to work in factories. calls for a new, postindustrial form of edu- To teach students the basic skills and sim- cation. Teachers, parents, school adminis- ple facts they needed for industrial jobs, trators, and policymakers have begun to the first great revolution in schooling took place: the factory school model appeared. Large build- ings enclosed labyrinths of class- rooms where A NEW MODEL 12 FOR EDUCATION WORK IN AMERICA: 195 Years 100 The rapid industrializa- ries, treating students Agricultural tion of 19th-century as products to be 75 America caused an shaped with assembly PERCENT OF WORKFORCE analogous transform- line precision. Though Industrial ation in American this model of education education, which previ- has proven effective 50 ously had been charac- at teaching basic skills terized by the one-room to students, it is not Service schoolhouse. By the suited to a society in 25 beginning of the 20th which individual suc- century, schools were cess often depends on Information increasingly mimicking a person’s ability to the practices of facto- adapt to change. 0 1800 1900 TODAY THE ONE-ROOM SCHOOLHOUSE

realize that an entirely new model of reshape education, ending the disjunction dents advance without restraint while education is needed. In this new kind of between school and the broader society. other students have the various resources school, all students will be held to far Technology offers unlimited new ways of they need to meet high standards. higher standards of learning because learning, of teaching, and of running Traditional schools have emphasized everyone will have to be prepared to think schools. It provides new ways individual performance and for a living and everyone will have to be for everyone involved in edu- competition and have dis- cation to be openly account- “Technology is merely a tool capable of learning many new skills over couraged students from to help us improve the the course of a lifetime. This model of able to parents, to communi- working or even talking education will increase the links between ties, and to students. together. In the new model opportunities for learning students and their communities, bringing Yet technology by itself is of school, classroom experi- and help us really approach the resources of school to bear on the clearly not enough. As applied ences emphasize critical the kind of teaching that complex ethical, civic, and technical deci- in factory-model schools, tech- thinking, teamwork, com- sions that all citizens will have to make. nology can be as uninspiring promise, and communica- we think is important in The timing and location of education will as traditional mimeographed tion—the skills valued in our schools.” be more flexible, to worksheets. Computers in today’s workplace. schools have too often been —L INDA R OBERTS , D EPARTMENT reflect and take ad- This model of education “The school reforms of the OF E DUCATION vantage of changes used for drills, for word pro- calls for changing the roles 1980s consisted mostly of in the workplace. cessing, and for remedial of students, teachers, and The distinction work. These applications fail schools. In the new model an added program here, between learning to take advantage of the rich, interactive of school, students assume many of the an improved strategy there, inside of school and capabilities of today’s information tech- functions previously reserved for teachers. and a computer someplace outside of school nologies. In small groups, individual students act as will blur. Compare the use of computers for peer-tutors for others. Because they are else. These efforts were Technology is a drill and practice to their use as effective often the ones most familiar with new like taking aspirin for a key transforming learning machines. With imaginative, technologies, students lead by example, life-threatening illness.” element in creating inspiring software, students are not forced helping their classmates work through this new model of to come up with the one right answer; problems. In this way, students begin —KEITH GEIGER , NATIONAL school. Just as tech- rather, they learn to ask many questions learning from an early age how to com- EDUCATION ASSOCIATION nology is reshaping and to devise multiple approaches to a municate and how to assume greater other institutions, it problem. They learn at their own pace responsibility for their own education. has the potential to and in their own style, so that skilled stu- Teachers, in contrast, change from being the repository of all knowledge to being guides or mentors who help students navigate > “As we look to the major sectors of our economy, the educational system is the only sector that has not brought technology to bear upon its operations. And in a society so rich with infor- mation, we can no longer rely on skills appropriate only for the industrial age.” —CONSTANCE A. MORELLA, U.S. R EPRESENTATIVE A ND FACTORY-MODEL SCHOOL MUST YIELD TO A THIRD MODEL OF EDUCATION...

through the information made available will cut across disciplines, combining the by technology and interactive communi- subject matter of previously separate class- “Technology itself is not the cations. They help students gather and es. Multiple choice tests will be replaced curriculum. Technology is a organize information, judge its value, and by new kinds of assessments that measure decide how to present it to others. Moving the acquisition of higher-order skills. key that opens opportunities from group to group and from student to Schools may emerge in unlikely places for students to learn in the student, teachers help students stay focused —such as office classroom. It is a way in and working at the limits of their abilities. buildings—or more “Education is an enterprise When the class meets as a whole, teachers conventional schools which we can bridge what in distinguished by its share the responsibility for teaching with may have branch the past have been large the students—each of whom has been campuses integrated paucity of technology, gorges that have separated forging ahead at his or her own pace. into businesses, hos- and obviously that In this new model of school, education pitals, or homes. Sec- students from opportunity.” situation must change.” looks different than it does in most ondary schools may —JOHN DOSSEY, schools today. Schools might be open all forge new links with —LUTHER WILLIAMS, ILLINOIS STATE UNIVERSITY day and all year, with groups of students two-year colleges and NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION rotating in and out of session. Classrooms community institu- might include stu- tions to ease the trans- dents of different ition from school to “Integrating technology into ages. Traditional 50- [today’s classrooms] makes minute classes will about as much sense as inte- stretch or disappear to accommodate grating the internal combus- activities made possi- tion engine into the horse.” ble by technology. —LEWIS PERELMAN , Longer-term projects DISCOVERY INSTITUTE The use of technolo- gy in classrooms— whether in the con- text of virtual reality devices (top), coop- erative learning (center), or desktop video conferencing ETHNIC GROUPS (bottom)—places UNI COLL students at the S VE NT EGESITIES center of the educa- E R PAR S/ tional process. Both In the third model of teachers and the education, schools technology itself GOVERNMENTS LIBRARIES/ draw upon a rich web become tools that MUSEUMS S HOOL of interconnections students draw upon SC among societal institu- to advance their tions, with people and own learning. information from other sectors enriching and TIOIONS SER NS/ VIC enabling the missions AT EC A OCI LUB of schools. ASS RPOR S CO LABORATORIES ...A MODEL THAT COMBINES THE BEST OF PAST PRACTICES WITH THE RICH INTERACTIVITY O

F work. Individual classes will be integrated The elements of this new model of or more than 200 into workplaces, providing a vocational education are starting to appear in scat- years, from the education far richer and more useful tered communities across the United founding of the 13 than what is offered today. States. Schools are experi- Technologies used at home menting with new organiza- colonies in the “Kids retain 5 percent of what tional structures, new forms will convey lesson plans, 1600s until well they hear and 10 percent of homework, and assessments of governance, and new after the Civil War, the both to students and to their uses of technology that are what they read but 80 per- parents. designed to reflect the nation's educational cent of what they do and 90 The ultimate goal of this constant flux of modern needs were largely met percent of what they teach.” society. This trend is about new model of education is to through the model of the foster communities of life- — R OBERT B ALLARD , W OODS H OLE to accelerate dramatically. long learners, where intellect As technology becomes one-room school. As the OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTION and cooperation are highly more powerful and plenti- nation urbanized and indus- valued. Within these commu- ful, and as the needs of trialized in the latter part of nities, decisions will be society more urgently call made by those in the best position to for a new model of education, American the 1800s, today's factory make them—by students, teachers, and schools will be caught up by irresistible model of K-12 education educational administrators. forces of change. emerged. As the nation enters the next century, technology allows us to con- sider a new model of educa- tion, one that couples class- Using satellite room learning and resources video technology, to education resources students in a found quite literally through- Japanese class interact with an out the world. instructor and In the one-room school fellow students and in today's factory-model across the country. schools, the teacher is the heart of the education enter- prise. In the new model of education, the teacher will emerge as the mentor, guide, and broker to the world of knowledge made accessible by technology. Information technolo- works or CD-ROMs, gies foster new ways of groups of students can learning distinct from engage in cooperative the traditional model projects that teach of teachers in front of communication and classrooms lecturing negotiation skills as to rows of students. well as problem solving Students progress skills. Meanwhile, through curriculum teachers take on a new sequences keyed to role, that of advising local, state, and nation- and guiding students al standards. Using the through the wealth of information available material that the new from broadband net- technologies offer. OFFERED BY INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES.

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Today's children have grown up immersed in a world of computers and other information technologies. They play video games; they listen to music on digital compact disks; they help their families program the computerized controls of videocassette players. With all of the exciting innovations in computer technology, children have the opportunity to gain a wealth of knowledge without ever leaving home. Schools by comparison can seem dull.

Education reformers have been developing new approaches for improving the way in which children learn and interact in the classroom. They now must consider the "technology gap" that exists between the technologically rich experiences children have outside the classroom and the comparatively low-tech, in-school environment. The aim is not just to outfit more classrooms with computers. Schools should be changed so that they encompass and guide out-of-school activities that already embrace technology.

Not only is this vision possible, it also is feasible, according to Reinventing Schools. This document, available only as an on-line publication, is based on a meeting at which hundreds of leaders -from government, education, and the entertainment and information technology industries-developed strategies for reinvigorating the K-12 educational process by integrating the school experience with the information technology that has captured children's imaginations.

Funding for the project was provided by the National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Academy Industry Program of the National Research Council, Coca-Cola Endowment Fund of the National Research Council, and Kellogg Endowment Fund of the National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine.

This is a web-only publication available at:

http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/techgap/welcome.html.

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