Let's ask children what they think...
This project began life as an investigation into how children thought about school and what they expected from school in ten years time. Plenty of important and eminent speakers based in universities have lots to say about education and change, but few appeared to be asking children what they imagined it would be like. Did they expect school would be all computers and perhaps working at home, or did they imagine a school not too disimilar to those of today? This was the starting point for this study and the first of five stages of development:
Stage 1: Provisional Investigation.
Asking a small number of children to build some schools using LEGO Bricks in order to learn how best to go about the process and which research procedures would produce useful or meaningful results.
[Completed September 2000]
Stage 2: International Investigation.
Using the results from stage 1, similar construction activities will take place at schools across the world. Schools have already been identified in Ireland, Canada, Sweden, New Zealand and in other countries. This will assist in overcoming some cultural influences.
[November 2001 - in preparation]
Stage 3: Virtual and 3D models
A number of the physical models created by the children will be turned into 3D and/or virtual models using specialist software. These environments will then be made available through online access.
Stage 4: Learning resources.
Trainee teachers will be invited to create learning materials for these online environments designed by children, a situation which may lead to new ways of approaching online teaching and learning.
Stage 5: Learning activities.
Once the resource are in place, the children who designed these school, and others, will come together for lessons in the School of the Future they created.
Articles about this work and a series of online resources will be made available at each stage. If you'd like more details about this project please contact Mike O'Donoghue at CSALT, Lancaster University, England. School partners in any part of the world are invited to contact me to discuss involvement. Additional sponsors are also welcome.
Last updated: MJOD 21-September 2000
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