Past, present, future of education…

Scene 1:  The past

Students learned from the teacher.  Facts were learned from text books. Learning took place in the classroom.  Teachers asked questions and students answered them. Information about far away places was found in books.

Scene 2: The present

Students learn from the teacher, each other, the internet, books, movies, people inside the school, people outside the school, people in other countries.  Students learn through inquiry. They ask questions, wonder, explore, experiment and investigate new ideas. They make online global connections and learn about far away places directly from people who live in them! Here’s an example, where one thing lead to another…

  • Our school has recently established a kitchen garden program. Our students in Year 4 and 5 explore related issues in their units of inquiry.  On alternate fortnights, the children either have lessons in the garden or in the kitchen.
  • A TED talk by Jamie Oliver prompted me to blog about our kitchen garden program.
  • One of the comments on my post was from Bernadette, who’s school in Kansas, USA has a similar sort of kitchen garden program.
  • We engaged in conversation via Twitter and email and considered the possibility of a collaboration. This one hasn’t happened yet, but it will! We hope to start an ongoing collaboration about how our gardens grow and change during the year.
  • However, we have established a connection between our prep children (they call it kindergarten) . Our little ones  learned that there are children just like them far away in another country. They answered the questions sent to them by their new friends in Kansas via Voicethread and thereby began an ongoing conversation…

Scene 3:  The Future

Teachers from Scene 1 could never have envisioned what’s happening in Scene 2.  I can imagine the immediate future, since there are many inspiring educators who are already way ahead of our school in creating global connections and collaborating across the world in all sorts of exciting ways.  They are motivating us to flatten our classroom walls still more.  And after that…the possibilities are endless!

12 thoughts on “Past, present, future of education…

  1. I agree with you that education is changing by the moment and that the classroom of the past is vastly different from the one of the future. The present classroom is indeed far more global than the one of the past and today’s students have many more opportunities for learning. I like not only what you have said, but how you said it. However, you imply that student learning via inquiry is a new method when, in fact, it is one of the oldest. Socratic teaching via inquiry has been around since, well, Socrates!


    1. Oh I didn’t mean to imply that! The past, present, future idea was a lighthearted way of illustrating the change in school settings as learning has moved out of the traditional school model and global connections have become increasingly possible. Thanks for the comment.


      1. I love hearing about the ways in which our younger students are collaborating with others globally. I’m really pushing this idea at our school as I think many junior primary teachers think their students are too young to do this. Thanks for sharing this collaboration.

        I continually marvel at the difference between my education and that of my students. Even thinking about the communication between teacher and students – eg I have had over a dozen emails from students already this weekend, some of them my students some from other classes who saw that i was logged into SuperclubsPlus. I love the way they are so comfortable to contact me out of school and ask questions or help other students online.

        And I know that inquiry is as old as the hills, but I can assure you that I was never really encouraged to ask questions when I was in school!


      2. you didnt explain about education in the past for example u didnt say they used the parrot system …. they didnt used to understand every thing you just mentioned that they used to ask teacher.. and she answers but did the teacher convince her students ?


  2. Edna, Loved this blog. Educators must continue to improve their thinking on students learning outside the classroom. I continue to share with our staff that teachers, students, and parents are instructors in and out of the classroom. Now it my turn to have a wider vision of learning. The world is our classroom – life is our teacher – live, learn, and love – enjoying every minute of our experiences. Enjoy your blogging and sharing. Love having you in my PLN!


  3. I am always inspired when I read your posts Edna! I relish the thought of the scope of learning opening and widening to encompass a larger learning community working together. It is fabulous to hear stories like this one about what it looks like.
    I know I mentioned this on your post about the Kitchen Garden, but I just love the idea. I hope that we can do something similar in this neck of the woods!


  4. Hi Edna Sackson, It is very nice to read you on wordpress. Really there are a few significant changes in education and education system in past, present and future. However it is an interesting fact that there is a trend towards the digital learning and online culture. There are many different types of changes may be in different countries. Many schools have not been using digital learning or online learning tools yet. But it is a well clear fact that we can see an entire change in education system within few years because everyone is impressed by the power of internet and online learning tools.Thanks.


  5. Now my students wonder that we were getting information without internet. We just find all info in the book or newspapers. Teachers n parents n grand parents were the source of getting new information


  6. I think education in the future will include more online sources or will engage with technology much more that it does now. the future of methods would be more inductive to make students participate in learning process.


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