Posted by: crudbasher | February 3, 2011

Two Views of School in 2020

H/T The Committed Sardine

Today the Washington Post has an article that quotes Larry Cuban quite a bit. His main point is that most school in 2020 will still be in classrooms like it is now.  Oh sure, there will be more technology but overall things will stay the same.

I don’t have a fraction of the credibility or experience of Larry Cuban. However, I do have an opinion and I have to disagree a bit.

The key quote is this:

The error that online champions make decade after decade (recall that distance learning goes back to the 1960s) is that they forget that schools have multiple responsibilities beyond literacy. Both parents and voters want schools to socialize students into community values, prepare them for civic responsibilities, and yes, get them ready for college and career. Online courses from for-profit companies and non-profit agencies cannot hack those duties and responsibilities.

I agree that those tasks are now being fulfilled to a certain extent by schools. What Larry is missing is the tendency of the Internet to disaggregate things. You can take any of those tasks and do them in a different way.  For example, for socializing into community values, there are many community activities that happen outside of school. Even going to soccer practice is a social activity.  In fact, if kids didn’t have to go to school to learn it frees up the day to have more activities. My nephews are home schooled and their parents say they get all sorts of socializing every day.  I also take issue with the theory that online courses are not social activities. I recently took my Masters degree online and let me tell you, it was very social! I made life long friends. These are not mail correspondence courses anymore.

Of all the reasons to send children to school, the biggest one is school is a babysitter while parents are at work. Even that one will change as more and more people can do work from home via telecommuting.

As you start to strip away the various things that schools are charged with, I think valid alternatives will arise for each.

That all being said, I hugely respect Larry’s work! I just disagree with a few things, I hope he doesn’t mind. 🙂 Time will definately tell who is more right.

  • Article about how school WONT change by 2020

    tags: education technology 2020 futurist

    • Proponents talk about this form of teaching and learning as a powerful innovation that will liberate learning from the confines of brick-and-mortar buildings. Estimates (and predictions) of online learning becoming the dominant form of teaching turn up repeatedly and, somehow, fade.
    • Surely, there will always be students and adults drawn from rural, home schooled, and adult populations that will provide a steady stream of clients for online courses. Nonetheless, by 2020, well over 90 percent of public school students will be in places called schools going at least 180 days a year to self-contained classrooms where a teacher will be in charge.
    • The error that online champions make decade after decade (recall that distance learning goes back to the 1960s) is that they forget that schools have multiple responsibilities beyond literacy. Both parents and voters want schools to socialize students into community values, prepare them for civic responsibilities, and yes, get them ready for college and career. Online courses from for-profit companies and non-profit agencies cannot hack those duties and responsibilities.
    • fundamental questions have to deal with matters of educational philosophy. What knowledge has the most worth? Why? What are the best ways of teaching and learning?

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Responses

  1. Yep, and for all those kids who aren’t home-schooled and can’t afford activities like soccer there are always gangs…sorry, I just had to say it. I’d love to be able to see the world your way, but the reality I see gets in my way.

  2. ROFL! Yeah I admit I have a fairly optimistic view of the future! 🙂

    Schools are a very expensive way to educate kids. In some districts they pay 10k per student per year. What if that was given to the parent to do as they wish? I’m not saying public schools will go away by 2020, but that monopoly on learning will be broken I think. (I hope 🙂 )

    As always, I enjoy your comments! Thanks for stopping by

  3. I think that the future will look more blended. A lot of learning will happen online (even within a physical “school” building) but it certainly won’t look the way that it does now. It can’t survive much longer the way that it looks right now. Part of that change will come in the true customization in learning. When that happens the online and physical will have to be more blended to meet those needs.

    • Totally agree Kelly. I wonder if there will be variable levels of blend? Maybe some students prefer more online, and some prefer more face to face? I am hoping for an education system that can totally match what each student needs to maximize learning.

      Thanks for commenting!! 🙂


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