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Education Time-Machine

Do we really appreciate the changes in education that have occurred over the centuries? The beginning of a new century is an excellent opportunity to take a closer look at the developments over the last century and to speculate about the future. Below you will find excerpts from various sources which might help you compare today’s school system with the nineteenth century one and draw conclusions as to probable future developments.

Ideas for classroom use

Climb aboard our EDUCATION TIME-MACHINE for a school trip across the centuries. Here we go:

DESTINATION:19th century

BACKGROUND NOTE

At the beginning of the 19th century the reforming spirit reached education. Thomas Carlyle's conviction that education is 'a prime necessity of man' was shared by most people. They were also aware that English education was backward because in 1837 one third of working class children never went to school. Many could not read or write. Lessons were mostly a matter of learning by heart. Corporal punishment was the norm.

However, the movement for national education was growing and in 1870 education was made freely available to primary school children. The 1870 Act provided for schools to be run by local school boards. The money came from local rates.

SOURCE A:TIMETABLE

Morning

Class One

9.15

Religious Instruction

9.30

Read and spell to the master

10.00

Repeat tables - spell from the card

10.30

Read and spell to the monitor

11.00

Spell on the cards to the monitor

11.30

Write in copybook, girls sew

12.15

Repeat religious instruction - fill in registers

(Adapted from the timetable of a National School in 1818)

SOURCE B: PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE ON THE EDUCATION OF THE LOWER CLASSES

"Joseph Lancaster taught poor children in the Borough Road School. He divided his school into eight forms, each of which was managed by a monitor. A single book was found sufficient for the whole school, the different sheets being hung around the walls of the school"

(Adapted from evidence to a parliamentary committee
on the Education of the Lower Classes 1816)

SOURCE C: OFFICIAL FIGURES

Numbers of pupils attending Board and Voluntary schools in 1902

Board Schools

5,700 schools

2,500,000 pupils

Voluntary schools

14,500 schools

3,000,000 pupils


DESTINATION: 20th century

BACKGROUND NOTE

Education is an issue about which most British people are deeply concerned. Full-time education for children from 5 to 16 is compulsory. 93% of children go to state schools which are free of charge.

SOURCE A: AN EXCERPT FROM THE NATIONAL CURRICULUM INTRODUCED IN 1988

"Children have to study core subjects of English, mathematics and science, and also foundation subjects of technology, geography, history, art, music and physical education. Older children take up a foreign language".

SOURCE B: A LIST OF SUBJECTS FOR SIXTH FORM

Years 12 & 13 (Sixth Form) (A-level Courses)

Art & Design

Biology

Chemistry

 

Design Technology

Economics

English Literature

English Language

French

Mathematics

General Studies

Geography

German

History

Home Economics

Latin

Adv. Mathematics

Media Studies

Music

Physics

Religious Studies

Sociology

Sports Studies

Spanish (GCSE)

(from Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School materials)

SOURCE C: QUEEN ELIZABETH'S GRAMMAR SCHOOL IN KENT - YEAR 7 CURRICULUM

ENGLISH

You will experience a variety of speaking and listening, reading and writing activities throughout the year. You will study a range of texts, including at least one novel, some short stories, a collection of poems, a playscript and non-fiction texts. You are also introduced to Shakespeare through the study of selected scenes from one of his plays.

You are given experience of writing in a variety of forms, including stories, poetry and non-fiction. Heavy emphasis is placed on the importance of drafting and re-drafting. Information Technology is integrated into English, using word processing for some of your work.

You also undertake a structured course in spelling, punctuation and grammar and study the history and development of the English Language. Media education is also taught this year, with a study of the news.

You are encouraged to read for pleasure and one lesson each fortnight is held in the library for this purpose to develop your research skills. Library lessons are also used to develop your research skills.

(from:A Guide for new pupils - and their parents)

SOURCE D: QUEEN ELIZABETH'S GRAMMAR SCHOOL, KENT

AN EXCERPT FROM SCHOOL RULES

1. You should remember that, on your journeys to and from school, you are in the public eye and should behave only in ways which will bring credit to yourself and the school.

3. You must observe the school uniform regulations throughout the day, including the journey to and from school.

7. The school cannot accept responsibility for any of the following items and you are strongly advised not to bring them to school: large amounts of money, valuable items of personal property, including jewellery, or any articles such as radios, cassette players, personal stereos or personal computers. If you have to bring any of these things into school you should hand them in for safe keeping.


DESTINATION: 21st century

BACKGROUND NOTE

Drastic changes are afoot. It is predicted that schools will be changed beyond recognition in the next 15 or 20 years along with changes in the job market. Many present white collar and manufacturing jobs will disappear. During our lifetime we will have numerous careers. Therefore, school will prepare pupils for jobs in the global market economy. Information Technology will become the no.1 subject. Foreign languages will also become even more important than today.

However, the most important changes will come in the field of methods of teaching. Distance learning will become very popular and many pupils will learn online. Secondary school pupils will work independently or in small teams navigating on the Web preparing various projects and creating their own websites. Teachers will not disappear altogether but their role will change. They will no longer be the only source of information, because thanks to the Internet the students will have a wealth of new resources at their fingertips. Assuming the roles of facilitators or tutors, teachers will help their students acquire research and intercultural skills indispensable for enhancing the pupils' future careers.

SOURCE A: 5 HOTTEST JOBS OF THE 21ST CENTURY

1. Artificial Intelligence Brokers

2. Research Gurus

3. Virtual-Reality Actors

4. Gene Programmers and Therapists

5. Personal Broadcasting Specialists

(adapted from TIME: "Visions 21 - Our Work, Our World", MAY 29, 2000)

SOURCE B: JOBS THAT WILL DISAPPEAR

1. Stockbrokers, auto dealers, mail carriers, insurance and real estate agents

2. Teachers

3. Printers

4. Stenographers

5. Prison guards

(adapted from TIME: "Visions 21 - Our Work, Our World", MAY 29, 2000)

SOURCE C

"Brain research shows that the first three years of a child's life are critical. That's when the brain grows more than at any other time. Early education, if done right, in the years before kindergarten prepares children for a lifetime of learning".

(a psychologist's opinion)


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