19th Century approach in 21st century schools – Digital age with dull curriculum


We are in the most exciting educational times.  The digital ages increases our ability to gain knowledge and to connect worldwide.  So much is within our reach!  There has never been such an exciting time to learn and discover.  Judith Burns from BBC News examines the possible curriculum drafted for our children’s future…


This article exposes the missing ingredient in 21st century schools.  The needs of the student are not met if their values, their passions, their digital mindset is not incorporated into their learning content and their learning experience.  As an art and drama teacher I am not likely to engage a bunch of year 9s into a drama activity, especially not playwrights such as Chekhov or Shakespeare if I haven’t won their trust, respect and appreciation of the subject with modern material that is relevant and meaningful to their lives in that moment.

Why drag students that are already often disenchanted or disinterested in learning back to teaching styles and assessments of the last century when it will not engage either them or the teacher.  Can you possibly imagine what it is like to endeavour to inspire a group of 30 or more students to listen to you, learn and take independent action if they are bored rigid and cannot be convinced of the relevance to their life?  Can you conceive of the impact this has on their learning and the devastating crushing affect on teacher morale when this occurs day in day out?  Imagine the isolating feelings of powerlessness to change it.

Is it any wonder that mental health issues in education are a genuine concern for the government?  It is any wonder that poor behaviour continues to be a minefield in the classroom?  Is it any wonder that more and more teachers are getting sick due to stress or are leaving the profession?  We need to wake up!  We are in the 21st century.  The digital age is upon us.  Education needs to embrace our current reality and excite our young people by speaking in their language, in their hierarchy of values to tailor the school leaver into a 21st century contributor to society.

On November 9th, 2012, posted in: Blog by