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School Education in 2026 - Futorology

Discussion in 'Education news' started by MrMedia, Jan 14, 2016.

  1. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    I have in mind to write a new article on what school education will look like in 2026 - I'm sure some of you wags will have some fun.

    But in seriousness - a ten year gap. What will have changed? I think it worth giving some themes:

    Qualifications - really, I can't see GCSEs in their present form continuing. Like level descriptors, they are one of the worst drivers of dreadful teaching. Like level descriptors they will go. Indeed, my futurologist nose tells me that the 'online' check of children's times table learning suggests that the 'cost-effective' side of the government sees the future as being as digital as possible and that GCSEs are an expensive monolith. They will try to remove as much human and physical involvement from the process as possible and reduce it to as much automated and digitised content as they can. I also see the testing being outsourced. Schools will no longer host whatever assessment of learning emerge - instead, this will be spun off to online centres such as the ones that already exist for driving tests etc.

    Exercise books and green pen dialogic marking. Yes, it doesn't take a 4 year old to point to the schism between those born into a tablet life and those born before. It will be a line in the sand and we forever will see that line as one of the major changes that affected young people. In short, paper books will go and students will operate a life long ePortfolio held in the cloud and added to as they move from education establishment to education establishment. You won't need tracking data for a student, you'll be able to see all of their work online.

    Feedback. Already our lives are dominated by feedback through push notifications - not just about ourselves but about others. Automated feedback will be pushed to parents', virtual teachers and children themselves. This process will be as automated as possible. Having humans write feedback in pen on paper is a labour intensive method and often could be bettered by computer if the feedback is anything other than personalised and subjective. Even now, I am typing at 50wpm on a keyboard rather than handwriting this. How much quicker is it? How much more effective is it to write as fast as I think rather than waiting ponderously for my handwriting to catch up with my thoughts. These time and motion people in charge of academies are already looking for every possible efficiency initiative.

    School buildings. I don't see much change here. Classes of 32, scruffy chairs, food halls, dusty unused IWB - the fabric of the building will be similar. The investment will be in mobile and cloud technology to manage the learning. If anything, there will be more convergence - more facilities opened up, at a price, to local users.

    Teachers - well, where do you start? Qualified? Certainly. But a far greater range of teachers. Instead of one teacher who can do everything, the specialist qualified teacher will earn more but there will be fewer of them. Already we see a new hierarchy - TA, Cover Supervisor, Unqualified teacher, QTS only teacher, QTS with PGCE, QTS with PGCE and Masters, Non-teaching executive teachers, non-teaching trustees of trusts and alliances. Thus instead of 'teacher' there will be a huge range of roles in schools of which teacher will be just one of them and there will be fewer of them.

    And many more themes - students, profit making, home schooling, LA maintained schools (especially primary): I am sure some will suggest some interesting themes and visions.

    It sure will make a change from predicting doom. Or not depending on who replies!
  2. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Lead commenter

    I tend to agree with most of the speculations but I suspect there will be a growing market for the private and charity sectors who have made substantial inroads providing theatrical events themed on health, safety, bullying, careers, social skills, music etc which are also starting to include STEM. Vans loaded up with exhibits, demonstrations and experts to explain the wonders of science could be on their way from the Science Museum any time soon.
  3. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Ten years isn't that far away. I suspect little will have changed in most schools.
  4. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    Agree with above. But also suspect that there will have to be an admission that academies are not all good and something new will replace some of them.
  5. palmtree100

    palmtree100 Lead commenter

    I am an optimist.
    Someone will have the bright idea that teachers, instead of just being young, single and prepared to work 14 hour days for a couple of years on a low wage, also need subject knowledge.
    They need a proper academic grounding in all of the subjects they will be required to teach. Primary teachers now need to know the difference between coordinating and subordinating conjunctions. The kind of academic nonsense that is not taught on normal degrees or Teach First learn-on-the-job programmes. Someone will realise that older, more experienced teachers usually have this knowledge already and are worth keeping, even if they sometimes speak out against things they disagree with in the current system. Teacher training will be more thorough and academic. Teachers will be considered as professional as doctors and lawyers, and paid accordingly. Teach First will be replaced by Teach Last to attract the best of the amazing, creative, intelligent and knowledgeable ex-teachers back into the profession.
  6. JessicaRabbit1

    JessicaRabbit1 Senior commenter

    I am also optimistic and you'll all laugh at me for sounding so simplistic:

    There will be two teachers for every job. Two qualified teachers in the classroom every day, sharing everything, planning, marking, delivery - for each class. Supporting each other, sharing the load. And this will be paid for by the removal of the overinflated salaries paid to footballers and bankers.

    Same applies for doctors and nurses. Simples :)
    palmtree100 likes this.
  7. palmtree100

    palmtree100 Lead commenter

    Great idea. Wouldn't be that difficult. Primary schools already pay for one and a half teachers per class as they have a TA. Replace the TA with a qualified teacher. NQTs could be paired with more experienced teachers in class or different subject specialists. Maybe there would be less need for scrutiny and monitoring from SLT so some money could be saved there. Imagine, SEN groups regularly get to work with a qualified teacher. Also no need for supply teachers if one is off sick for the day. Just employ a few midday meals supervisors but no need for TAs.

    The current workload certainly is big enough for two full-time teachers. But they'd only have to work 8 or 9 hours a day each! And they might even get a weekend! Imagine how happy and healthy they would feel, and how that would impact on their teaching and relationships with the children.

    It's nice to dream once in a while.
  8. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    I'd be interested to know what @TES_Rosaline thinks. Do the TES staff ever have ideas about how it will evolve?
  9. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    The idea of two teachers is not so silly, but I think it will be leadership roles that will be two teachers. I'd happily go for a shared headship on the grounds that I wouldn't work a 60 hour week. Headships and other SLT roles are reserved solely for workaholics prepared to put in unsociable and unhealthy hours. This limits the pool of applicants to predominantly men and those who don't need or value work life balances.

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