People make a lot of assumptions about education: lessons should last for about an hour. Mobile phones should be switched off during school. Pupils should learn in classrooms. And, fundamentally, pupils come to school to learn, and teachers come to school to teach. These assumptions are so common, because they match the way that most of us were educated
But this version of education was designed in and for a very different time, and there’s no reason to assume that it will meet the needs of today’s learners. In response to the challenges we face in the digital age, schools are starting to do education differently. Why restrict lesson times to an hour when half-day sessions allow pupils to delve really deeply into subject material? Many young people have smart phones, so why not allow them to be used as learning aids? Adults learn in the real world, why not let pupils? And, fundamentally, the best teachers are people who love learning, and the best way to make sure that you understand what you are learning is to teach. The schools that are taking this seriously are still in the minority. But across the world there is a growing global movement towards achieving the vision of 21st century education.