Schools do not change overnight but can evolve reasonably quickly provided the school leader understands what is required. This is not ‘rocket science’ but it is amazing how many school principals do not get the fundamentals right.
The fundamentals are good behaviour for learning by all, focus on engaging teaching around a relevant and exciting curriculum, a strong focus on progress to ensure all succeed, even if from a low base, and engagement with families as well as the children. Real-life extended entitlements to develop the current school curriculum.
As these things develop the school and teachers will review and update their educational theory and practices. By addressing the ‘how, where, with whom and when’ pupils study, schools can get much better learning as well as freeing-up student time for other things, to broaden the curriculum. This happens because the richness of learning interactions in a connected environment with the right pedagogy uses time very much more effectively than traditional approaches. This relates to the point Eric Mazur makes about the richness of student conversation on questions the teacher chooses to get to the heart of the learning concept, and his comparison of this with lecturing.
Becoming a digitally evolving school is essential. The digital environment is what enables everything to change and improve.
The digital evolution combined with children leading learning makes it possible for school funding to be used differently.
Developing engagement with families and helping them become properly and safely digitally connected is a key role for the school.
The benefits to the school are huge in all sorts of ways.
The most difficult task for schools will be breaking the stranglehold of assessment and qualifications. This requires government leadership.
What schools can do is to broaden the base of qualifications that pupils gain and to look for mastery qualifications that will be useful additions to pupils’ portfolios of qualifications.