What you need to know about classrooms of the future
When headquarters of large companies (such as Apple, Google, Tencent, Adidas, Airbnb, etc.) are going agile with flexible seating, customisable surroundings, portable walls and augmented reality, I believe that in the future classrooms will exist without walls and teachers will become mentors. These offices and workspaces are the future for our pupils and I see that schools are starting to create learning spaces which support and prepare pupils for environments of this kind.
Interestingly, it is not just spaces, but over the past decade, teachers have increasingly taken on a different role within the classroom. There have been two key transformations in the way teachers influence pupils. The first one is the teacher role as facilitator. Teachers no longer “give” the knowledge, for children to then remember and regurgitate or apply to the appropriate test. Children have the knowledge at their fingertips through the use of technology in every lesson. At Regent International School, we enable children to work wonders with this knowledge, applying the principals of Blooms Taxonomy with the pupils directing their own complexity of thinking. The teachers do not own this process, the pupils do.
The second way that teaching has changed involves the teacher playing the role of a second parent. Children’s mental health has been at the forefront of the educational agenda for the past 10 years; with stretched capacity of Service Providers and frightening statistics surrounding the number of children with mental health problems, it has become increasingly necessary for the teacher to step in and support. At Regent, our teachers are required to understand the emotional, attitudinal and behavioural patterns and signals of every child in their class. They are expected to intervene at the crucial moments and provide support to pupils and often, parents and they are expected to refer pupils to our in-house Counsellors. Child Protection is the singular most important aspect of any teacher’s role.
More so, schools in the UAE are encouraged to take innovative approaches which provide pupils with experiences beyond the norm. At Regent, our outstanding Curriculum Design and Implementation is an area which gives scope for the development of innovation and ensures that it is relevant, rigorous and purposeful. Enquiry and Project-Based based learning, whilst not new approaches, are taking a new direction with the implementation of technology and the increasing focus on mastery and depth in the post-2014 Curriculum. With the increasing emphasis on metacognition in classrooms, our pupils at Regent International School have a daily diet of facilitated learning which means that they are increasingly able to problem solve through taught skills and come up with solutions to fulfil the high-expected outcomes of their projects or enquiry. This approach prepares children for their future in the truest sense and allows them to apply skills and intelligence not even visible on a Curriculum guidance document. Teaching and Learning are no longer about following the book.
Technology will allow multi-collaboration and flipped learning, ensuring that the time spent in school is utilised to problem solve, create and innovate. These flexible learning spaces will allow pupils to take full control over the functionality of their environment, flipping from collaborative to independent study within seconds and creating flexibility which will accommodate a project of almost any size. Flexible spaces and Flipped learning will form the basis of all project units of study whilst the teacher moves from being the facilitator of today to the mentor of tomorrow; an enhanced role providing expertise and support, emotional guidance and a role model that will allow pupils to achieve their own self-directed goals.
To understand how a Regent education can shape the future of your child, I encourage you to plan your visit to Regent International School by clicking here.
P.S.: What is Blooms Taxonomy Bloom’s taxonomy is a powerful learning tool that helps students understand concepts by appraising, arguing, assessing, attaching, comparing, defending, judging, predicting, and evaluating.
Mrs Gaynor Dale
Regent International School