The world of education is changing.
Listen to descriptions of three different schools and check your understanding.
Education – This Sounds Cool!
As a language academy, VivaLing is closely involved in innovation and education. In today’s podcast, we are going to look at some of the ways that education has changed and think about how education might be different in the future.
Exciting? Yes. Crazy? Sometimes. Inspiring? I hope so.
In most school systems when you finish school, you have to take an exam. Exams can be stressful as your result can have a big influence on your life.
But what about the Spartans in Ancient Greece? At the age of 20 they had to take an exam, but what do you think happened to them if they didn’t pass?
A They could not vote or become citizens for the rest of their lives.
B They were executed.
C They were exiled or sent to live in another country.
Answers, as usual, at the end of this podcast.
Most of us have a fairly normal education. We went or go to school and study in a classroom using books or computers. We follow a timetable, and we are tested by our teachers, sometimes at the end of a term or sometimes at the end of a year. Many of the subjects we study are exactly the same as they were hundreds of years ago – history, Latin, mathematics, but there are also newer, more modern subjects such as Information Technology or graphic design.
But what about VivaLing? Where do we fit in with the new methodologies and technical advances of the last few years? Well, in many ways VivaLing is a traditional school, depending on the talent, dedication and creativity of our coaches and team, but we also use modern technology to make the classes better, offer out-of-class learning experiences and to organize our business. This approach is called hybrid learning, just like hybrid cars or animals, which mix two things into one. So, now you know.
The VivaLing English podcast like to present different ideas, so we are going to talk about 3 schools where things are done differently. Listen carefully because you will have to answer questions at the end.
Woodside Kindergarten – Devon, England
This school is strange because it isn’t even in a school. The parents take their children every morning to a path at the edge of a forest, and the children walk around, play games and look at the plants and animals they can find. It is called forest learning. The school leader, Daisy Brown, says, “Our children are stronger than other children because they spend every day outside in the open air – whether it’s raining, cold or hot. Young children learn by doing things and getting their hands dirty, not by sitting around in a boring classroom.”
This type of education is becoming more and more popular in England as parents realise the importance of keeping in touch with nature and preserving our environment. But be warned, your kids might come home dirty and cold, but they will be able to tell you which tree that leaf comes from.
The Tech Academy – Santo Antonio, California
Everything in this school is sleek and modern. The lighting is ultra-hip, and the furniture looks like something from a spaceship.
The children (aged 13-18) don’t wear a uniform and seem a normal enough bunch, despite the unusual hairstyles and off-beat fashion.
The biggest surprise, however, is when the teacher arrives because they don’t actually have a teacher. They are taught purely by augmented reality holograms.
The school directors have created virtual teachers who use artificial intelligence to adapt the content of the classes to the students’ abilities.
The hologram teachers project audio or video content onto a screen directly in front of each student to produce a completely personalised learning experience. There is also a 3-D space where models of buildings, machines, cities and animals can be explored by students in groups.
One student, Timotina deLobo, told the VivaLing English podcast, “We don’t even care that there’s no teacher. The holograms do everything we need. They know what we like, they know what we need, and we always pass our tests. What’s not to like?”
Hmm. Quite right.
The Old School – St James’s College, Canterbury, England
This school has gone back to the past. The directors believe that modern collaborative education confuses students. A lack of discipline in the classroom leads to slow progress and that the traditions of the past can create a more productive educational environment.
At St James’s, all students wear a uniform with a tie and blazer. The teachers do not allow any children to speak in the class. The food is healthy but simple, and all students need to do physical education every day.
The father of 13-year-old Sam told the VivaLing podcast, “Young people these days have so many distractions from social media, and they think that any opinion they have needs to be respected. When I was a child, we respected our parents, our teachers and the police. In this school, the kids will be free to develop in their own way, but first they have to learn how to follow the rules and become responsible citizens. That’s why I think it’s a good place for Sam.”
When I asked Mr Bridges whether he would be upset if Sam was punished for doing something wrong, he laughed and said, “that’s what punishment is for!!”
Three schools – three different beliefs. What do you think the advantages and disadvantages are? You can discuss it with your VivaLing coach.
But first, I want you to tell me which school you think the following statements are about:
1 We’d definitely have higher laundry bills.
Woodside Green because the children spend all day outside.
2 It might lead to unemployment.
Tech School, Santo Antonio. Teachers will lose their jobs.
3 At least the kids would be less rowdy in the streets.
The Old School, Canterbury because they learn more about discipline.
4 Things like leaves and acorns won’t prepare them for the modern world.
Woodgreen School because the children learn about nature. Some people don’t like that.
5 Just because it’s modern doesn’t mean it’s good.
The Tech College, Santo Antonio
6 There’s no point bringing things back from the dead!!
The Old School, Canterbury – Some people don’t like traditions from the past.
Well done, if you got all of those right.
And what about the answers to my question from the beginning of this podcast?????
Remember, what do you think happened to the Spartans if they didn’t pass?
The answer is that the Spartans who failed the exam were not allowed to become citizens and could not vote in elections. That’s a real motivation to pass, although not as bad as being killed or exiled.
Thank you for listening to the VivaLing English podcast.
Electronic Chime Kevan GC
Sad trombone Joe Lamb
School photo created by freepik – www.freepik.com