Forgot your password?

How long until the (first-world) classroom education model is obsolete?

Displaying poll results.
Within 20 years
  9163 votes / 36%
20 - 40 years
  3122 votes / 12%
40 - 60 years
  1299 votes / 5%
60 - 80 years
  412 votes / 1%
80 - 100 years
  257 votes / 1%
More than 100 years
  1286 votes / 5%
Never
  5017 votes / 19%
Let me ask Wikipedia
  4783 votes / 18%
25339 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

How long until the (first-world) classroom education model is obsolete?

Comments Filter:
  • Always a niche (Score:5, Insightful)

    by students (763488) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @02:51PM (#38928629) Homepage Journal

    My view is that there will always be a niche for in-person classroom instruction. I think the product that higher education should be selling is the opportunity to develop a personalized relationship with an expert. That happens very effectively in the small classrooms of liberal arts colleges.

    The non-interactive lectures provided by large universities with hundreds of students in the lecture hall at a time went obsolete when video was invented.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Agreed. Small classrooms, with face-to-face instruction are very effective. Remote classrooms do work but are less interactive and allow for more distractions.

      In-person instruction is analogous in the business world to face-to-face meetings. They have been shown to be more effective than phone calls, video conferencing, etc.

      However people will push for "something different," due to failures in the current system, even though those failures are not related to in-person classroom instruction, per se. Peop

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by marcosdumay (620877)

        Small classrooms, with face-to-face instruction are very effective.

        Yes, they are. But they are not the current model...

        • by Dahamma (304068) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @09:19PM (#38938323)

          The classrooms are still small, they are just packed more tightly...

          • Re:Always a niche (Score:5, Insightful)

            by cayenne8 (626475) on Tuesday February 07, 2012 @04:30PM (#38959045) Homepage Journal
            True.

            But one of the MAIN components missing in the classroom methodology of old, is pretty much the most important one...the parent.

            My parents, kept a constant look over my shoulder as to getting my homework done. They once grounded me for 2 weeks, until I could get my multiplication tables memorized through the 12's.

            They rewarded me for good grades, and chastised me for poor ones (C's, I darned not get below that, and rarely made C's).

            They knew my teacher, my principal...often as not, my Mom had much too good of a personal relationship with the principal, as that I was a bit mischeavous..and she was called in more than a couple of times about me. The school thought I was a good kid, but I often would finish my work early, and become class clown, or attempt to distract others.

            I guess in today's world...they'd drug me.

            But really....where are the concerned parents? We didn't need the 20 metric tons of homework every night that kids get today...enough to get the job done and my folks oversaw that. I didn't have homework every night...usually I got it done at school and had time when I got home to *gasp* go out and play in the neighborhood with the other kids I went to school with.

            Parents....they are what is missing in today's classes.

            No teacher should have to spend the majority of her time babysitting and shouting down kids, rather than teaching...

            We'll get into the other distraction...worrying about Billy's self esteem in another thread.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by normaldotcom (1521757)

      I agree that teacher-student interaction and personal relationships should be more encouraged in higher education through smaller class sizes. Nevertheless, I don't think that this is currently limited to liberal arts colleges—I attend a university with a small yet excellent engineering department, in which relationships with professors have proved invaluable to my education.

      Large lectures on the other hand are minimally interactive, and could be migrated to online video. The benefit of this migrati

    • by g00ey (1494205)
      While I agree that we have seen technical advances during the past 20 years that have provided previously unseen tools that could be usable for teaching I don't think we should dismiss the old ways altogether.

      Some subjects or fields of research if you will, are actually best taught using a chalk and a blackboard. One such an example is mathematics. A well trained lecturer that proves theorems and solves problems on a blackboard beats any powerpoint any day of the week. In fact, math is one of the oldest
      • by Macgrrl (762836) on Monday February 06, 2012 @09:49PM (#38948699)

        Schools teach more than just the curiculum. One of the most valuable lessons people learn through attending school daily is how to act when surrounded by a pack of their peers in such a way as to be considered socially acceptable.

        Many students also benefit directly from the dialog that occurs in the classroom. Until people are attending class in some kind of virtual world, students will have no real analog for the experience of learning amongst a group of other people via remote learning. Unless everyone starts working remotely, these will still be vital life skills, if only to reinforce the need for personal hygeine.

        While some subjects are better suited to remote learning, more hands on topics such as trade subjects and the arts still require direct supervision and equipment.

        • by Creepy (93888)

          That depends largely on the school. My first elementary school was great, but I transferred to a blue collar school in the middle of kindergarten and it was fine at first, but in second grade a bully moved in to town, decided I was punch bait, beat the shit out of me (black eye, bloody nose) and threw me across the blacktop shredding my knees and arms and the teachers did nothing about it because they didn't see it. He then decided if you wanted to be his friend and not get beat up by him you had to beat up

          • I have to say, that phonetic spelling shit really annoys me. I interact on a daily basis via e-mail with grown adults that constantly mix up 'their', 'they're' and 'there'. 'Bare in mind' is a recent one. The usual 'your'/'you're' problem is a daily occurrence. I can't figure out if it is ingnorance, laziness or a combination of both. But I was really bummed out about my son's school teaching the phonetic way a couple of years ago. I think they have now done an about turn and placed more emphasis on correct
    • Some people need to be pushed, some do not. Those that need pushing, will need some type of one-on-one interaction to do it. Those able to learn on their own will not need it as much, if at all. To expect parents to provide the motivation is one of the reasons the US school system is in such disarray, teachers do not have as many tools at their disposal today to motivate students. Specifically, too many parents blame teachers and the school system for their child's poor grades instead of the people truly
    • Re:Always a niche (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SteveFoerster (136027) <steve AT stevefoerster DOT com> on Monday February 06, 2012 @01:13PM (#38943393) Homepage

      My view is that there will always be a niche for in-person classroom instruction. I think the product that higher education should be selling is the opportunity to develop a personalized relationship with an expert. That happens very effectively in the small classrooms of liberal arts colleges.

      The non-interactive lectures provided by large universities with hundreds of students in the lecture hall at a time went obsolete when video was invented.

      The product higher education sells isn't the education, it's the credential. There's a reason schools like MIT are perfectly comfortable making their curricula publicly available. The degree from MIT is what many people actually want. And yes, I work in higher education. You can learn things here, most people do, but make no mistake about what everyone's motivations are, they want that piece of paper.

    • My take on the situation is, if we see kids using non-traditional educational models and outperforming their peers who are educated using traditional methods, then we should definitely start to pay attention. But until then, we should focus on what's been proven to work.

      There's some evidence that homeschooling is more effective, for instance. Homeschooled kids apparently do tend to do slightly better than their traditionally educated counterparts in college (at least in terms of academics; by many accounts

  • It already is (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Classrooms are completely ineffective at preparing students for

    (Rant)
    {
    living without jobs, without hope, and with a constant stream of fear, hate and/or mind-numbing garbage continuously poured into their heads from the 24 hour infonewstainment channels.
    }

    If you know a useful trade, take a young person under your wing and teach them that trade. If you are the parent of a young person, find someone to teach them a useful trade. I think employers understand how broken education is and would be willing to giv

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Teancum (67324)

      Master/apprentice relationships really are a good idea and can help lead to mastery of a particular trade skill. If the point of education is to learn the skills necessary to get employment "in the real world", the worst place would be to learn from some washed up professor who couldn't cut the pressure in the work environment and decided to go into academia instead, and furthermore hasn't actually practiced the skills of the trade they are teaching for 15-20 years.

      That isn't true for all of academia, but

      • Re:It already is (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Kell Bengal (711123) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @05:51AM (#38933415)
        Hi there - research engineer here, recently started a junior professorship at a university. The idea that academics are people who couldn't handle industry work is simply absurd. To even get a job as an academic you necessarily must have first done a PhD and then a post-doc, and have to show a history of technical excellence in your field.

        Given the huge start up investment (a post-doc) required to attempt to gain an academic job (2-3 years, insane hours, low pay), nobody would even bother unless they were committed to getting a professorship at the end of it. You don't flush out of industry and just land in academia - the people I know who have left industry to take up professorships are all renowned engineers with a reputation for excellence. They won't take you otherwise.

        In my own case, I worked in industry for a year and a half after my PhD and found it so tedious and unstimulating, that I decided I enjoyed academia more. When I made the decision to leave, I switched to part time just so that I could afford to live for the 6 months or so it would require to find and land a suitable post-doc. In truth, if I had left the switch much longer, I would not have been able to go back at all, because my publication history would be too sparse (and indeed, that's hurting my career even now). In effect, I viewed getting a post-doc as preparing to assail a mountain - months of preparation up front, followed by an excruciating marathon of hard work. And success was not guaranteed - only 50% of PhDs go on to do post-docs, and it's exceptionally rare for engineers who can earn far more in industry.

        Talking to other post-docs in my field, we all agreed that if we did not succeed in a bid for a junior professorship, we could always 'bail out' - that is, go back to industry. Our skills were valuable, because we were trained in desirable specialities.But we weren't in academia because we wanted to be in industry - that was the fall back position. The saying goes that there are a lot of one-way doors in academia, because once you're off the publishing treadmill for too long, it's almost impossible to come back.

        So don't view academics as a safe-haven for industry drop-outs. It's simply not true. It's a hard and brutal world, without little to no financial reward, and only the best and most determined survive. In exchange, I get to choose my own course of research, supervise students, and take genuine credit for my achievements.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Teancum (67324)

          If you found work "in the industry" to be boring, part of the problem is that you likely were hired by a larger firm where you have to go through the meat grinder of an apprenticeship anyway. The problem is that you got your PhD and thought that you were the king of the world due to your advanced credentials, but it turns out that means squat in terms of what these kind of businesses expect out of an employee and you weren't ready to become the apprentice again. Perhaps understandable if you went through

          • It's a fair theory, but in fact, it was almost entirely the opposite. I went to work for a small start-up company that desperately needed highly skilled and motivated people. I blew them away at my interview with examples of actual systems I had built for my thesis and for fun and they fell all over themselves to hire me, and apologised that they couldn't pay me more - but I presumed that the interesting work they were offering would make up for it.

            In practice, the work they had to offer wasn't what was
            • by Teancum (67324)

              When you decide to work for a small start-up company, you can throw out just about all of the rules I was saying earlier. You have a much more "intimate" relationship with the company founders and personal relationship matter much more. Still, it sounds more like they hired you to be that junior engineer I was talking about. They may have treated you with respect and valued your contributions, but were you setting project goals and drawing up system architecture, making the major decisions about what pro

        • by trongey (21550)

          Hi there - research engineer here, recently started a junior professorship at a university. The idea that academics are people who couldn't handle industry work is simply absurd. ... In my own case, I worked in industry for a year and a half after my PhD and found it so tedious and unstimulating, that I decided I enjoyed academia more. ...

          I see what you did there - you used the fact that you couldn't handle industry work as proof that academics aren't people who couldn't handle industry work. Nice.

    • by CdXiminez (807199)

      That was the option I was looking for.
      I suspect I could have learned a lot more in my young days if it was without classrooms.

      Also, teach people actual trades, not management-without-content.

  • by nicomede (1228020) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @03:11PM (#38928791)
    It is already largely obsolete. The classrooms are more and more heterogeneous, and a teacher can hardly share his/her time efficiently between childens with so different needs. OTOH an effective alternative way is still to be found. It could be based on self-teaching assisted by the large databases that already exist ; the organization should be essentially rebuilt from the ground up.
    • by Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @04:50PM (#38929471)

      After all, minus 100 is less than 20.... ;)

      • I voted for the Wikipedia option, because of verbal concordance. "Current education system will be obsolete 100 years ago" is just not a true proposition.

        But yes, -100 20.

    • by Kohath (38547) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @06:57PM (#38930247)

      This poll needs a "20 years ago" option.

      We can broadcast information now. We don't need a mediocre performer explaining it to a small audience. We need an excellent performer broadcasting it to a large audience, with local helpers available to answer individual questions. Mass media works. And it's the only way to bring the best quality instruction to the largest audience.

      But schools are about payroll, not about quality instruction. And a mass media model doesn't maximize payroll, so schools are stuck with an information distribution model from 100 years ago.

      • by euroq (1818100)

        But schools are about payroll, not about quality instruction.

        Where did you come up with this? I've never heard that a schools exist for the purpose of payrolls to its employees.

      • by qxcv (2422318)

        We can broadcast information now. We don't need a mediocre performer explaining it to a small audience. We need an excellent performer broadcasting it to a large audience, with local helpers available to answer individual questions. Mass media works. And it's the only way to bring the best quality instruction to the largest audience.

        That's (currently) called watching YouTube videos in class. It only works for a small percentage of students (in my experience, anyway) and across a small number of subjects. Watching an excellent performer on a screen is not even close to a substitute for interacting face-to-face with said performer.

        But schools are about payroll, not about quality instruction. And a mass media model doesn't maximize payroll, so schools are stuck with an information distribution model from 100 years ago.

        Where I come from it's almost impossible to find teachers at all, let alone teachers who are so much as competent in their subject area. Your suggestion seems to require *more* staff than are currently employed

      • you think you can learn neurosurgery by "broadcasting" the information? until we develop 100% effective "telepresence" technologies (i.e. VR), which probably will be essentially the same is direct injection of information into our brains, there will always be subjects that require "hands on" instruction and close interactions with instructors/experts (my definition of "classroom", i.e. something that cannot be handled in cyberspace).
    • by Hentes (2461350)

      That's not necessarily a problem with classroom education but with the laws against "segregated education" existing in many countries that takes the choice of students out of the schools' hands. In a more liberal education system there is a greater diversity of schools and kids would go to the one that suits their needs.

    • Always has been (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Saturday February 04, 2012 @07:41PM (#38930477)

      The classroom lecture environment has never been useful in instructing students. Great teachers in antiquity engaged their students in discussions. They did not ask them to sit quietly while they talked. The western classroom itself is really a fairly recent invention, and it's never been much use for anything.

      • Are you suggesting society should pay for teachers to teach kids in small groups?

        Then the classroom model will be here forever. We'll fund killer satellites in space before we do that.
        • by mosb1000 (710161)

          Are you suggesting society should pay for teachers to teach kids in small groups?

          Nope.

      • Why do you restrict "classroom" to "students sit quietly, no discussions"? that is an extremely narrow definition of classroom learning. A more appropriate definition includes in-person, groups of students interacting with instructor(s), with or without didactic lectures and/or discussions, hands-on exercises, etc. All of that is classroom learning, as far as I'm concerned... And I challenge the notion that classroom learning is a "western, recent invention"... e.g. certainly both the Chinese and the Greek
        • by mosb1000 (710161)

          Why do you restrict "classroom" to "students sit quietly, no discussions"?

          Because that's the only thing you need a classroom for.

      • assimilation. As I understand it, the modern classroom was the German solution to the problem that troops didn't obey orders in the Napoleonic wars, therefore did not fight coherently as a unit. It was decided to start training the regiments early. Supertramp's "The Logical Song", Pink Floyd's "The Wall" -- about 160 years late, each...ank
    • by Yvanhoe (564877)

      OTOH an effective alternative way is still to be found.

      Khaaaaaaan [khanacademy.org]

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      It also very much depends on the level and type of education. For universities self study may be an option; for primary schools definitely not. Those kids need the motivation and control that comes with a classroom environment. Of course smaller classes are better, but there is a bottom limit: you can't teach one-on-one for the sheer number of teachers needed, and classrooms have an important social function as well.

      And that's the thing for higher level education as well: if all is self study, without class

      • the social aspect of the group and the personal contact with the teacher simply can not be replaced.

        That's not what's meant by traditional classroom. What's meant is each child learning the same thing at the same time. The pace is set by the slowest in the class.

        When I was in about grade four, there was a kid who could barely read. At least, he couldn't hold his own compared to the rest of the class. Some time later that year, we received a self paced reading comprehension program. It was a series of booklets in a rainbow of colors. Once you completed each of the ten books at one color level, you

        • by wvmarle (1070040)

          In most traditional settings there is at least some room for individual attention. In your case that one kid could get some extra attention for reading, or some extra homework related to this, or if nothing else works extra private tutoring. This of course breaks down if it's really getting very heterogeneous. Though in the schools I've been that's never been an issue.

          The original poll, and also GP, I interpret as talking about the abolishment of class-room-style teaching altogether. And that interpretation

    • by ShakaUVM (157947)

      >>It could be based on self-teaching assisted by the large databases that already exist

      You're talking about Khan Academy, right?

      It's good on some subjects, and terrible on others (like history).

      I put down 20-40 years until this mode becomes feasible, but with a large injection of cash (aka Apple making a big push like it looks like they might do) I'd say maybe 10 years.

      It's a fun time to be involved in education and ed tech (as my company is).

    • by sgt scrub (869860)

      Add me to the list agreeing. The school, 25-30 students of all ages in one room, was effective. 30-50 students per class in a school of hundreds never was. Students in a University would be the exception, IMHO, if they were adults. Too many are there to continue their social engagements with other students. Learning isn't even secondary for most of them.

    • by TWX (665546)

      I work for a school district. The few schools that specifically don't have computers in the rooms and literally use chalk boards have better scholastic results than the vast number of schools that have technology in the classroom. The computer could be a good teaching tool if the kids didn't use it to engage the endorphins, and if software made the computer single-purpose. Right now, the computer serves as a distraction, something the kids can focus on when they don't want to pay attention to the lesson

  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @03:21PM (#38928857) Homepage

    There's a real question as to whether education will remain important. Getting ahead through education is a relatively modern concept. See this book from 1903 [google.com], where an author wrote to 100 prominent business men with a set of questions about whether a college education was useful in their business. (Amazingly, the author received personal answers from many top executives, including the presidents of major railroads.) Most of them were quite negative on the subject. Many felt that a college education would put someone four years behind their peers.

    Industry back then needed robust people who showed up, worked hard, and didn't get sick. That's what Foxconn needs today.

    The monetary payoff for a college education has declined, and with current college costs, is often negative. Coupled with this is a very strong trend towards reducing the training level needed for a job. The trend is towards having software do the thinking part, while humans do the heavy lifting.

    Supermarket checkout scanners are one of the most visible examples. For an extreme example, here's learning order picking in one minute [youtube.com] with the Kiva robotics system. The human is simply the handling arm for the mobile robots. All the planning and organizing is done by the computers, with a laser pointer indicating what to pick and where to put it. Even literacy is not necessary, other than the ability to read the quantity number and count. Kiva systems picked about 10% of online orders in 2010. This is the current expression of "Machines should think. People should work."

    This is moving up the organization as software becomes standardized. In the past, many organizations wanted software customized to match their organization. But new organizations are more likely to customize their organization to match the available software, which already has a work flow designed into it. Consider "Salesforce.com".

    The human interaction of sales is disappearing. Between online sales and call centers, retail sales skills are becoming unnecessary. Even sales skill can be computerized. Amazon gives you better advice on what books to buy than the sales people at Barnes and Noble.

    That's the future. Peonage.

    • by Dr_Barnowl (709838) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @06:25PM (#38930063)

      That's the closest system to Manna [marshallbrain.com] I've seen yet. The only difference is that you don't get a bluetooth headset verbally telling you what to do, you get a laser pointer and a bunch of lights, which means you don't even need workers that speak English.

      • That (the Kiva system) is the closest system to Manna I've seen yet.

        Yes. Computers take the orders, deal with the customer, accept the payments, keep track of the inventory, decide what gets stored where in the warehouse, order more products, and use mobile robots to move the shelves in the warehouse to the order picking humans. Humans merely reach where the computer's laser pointer tells them to reach, pick up the product out of the bin, and put it in an output bin where the computer's light tells them to put it. Vision-guided robots with articulated hands that can do bin

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You don't go to school to learn a specific skill. If that's all you want, you're going to burn up a lot money and find yourself back at square zero in 10 years.

      You go to school to learn how to learn. And I don't mean that philosophically. I mean, you learn how to navigate the system. Because no matter what job you get out of college, unless you're a professional like a lawyer or doctor, in 2 or 5 or 10 years your job title is going to disappear, and you're going to be forced to learn a new set of skills. An

      • by Ihmhi (1206036)

        Well, I'm going to college to get a degree in Education. Does that mean I'll be learning to learn how to teach other people to learn how to learn?

  • While the world is progressing too fast, and technology is entering the educational domain quickly, I doubt that we are ready to throw away the current classroom system, and do so while maintaining proper education to kids.

    The classroom will advance a lot. In South Korea and Taiwan, they are already planning to remove all textbooks by 2014, but of course, they are still maintaining the classroom model.

    The thing is, education is still lacking, even in the best of countries. The blame goes mainly on some pare

    • I do not think it is correct to say that education is a problem of bad or good parenting.
      Of course it would be ideal that every parent educates their child perfectly, stimulate their reflections and show them the wonders of the world, but that is wishful thinking.
      The reality is right now that most parents do not have the time nor the knowledge or the ability to educate their children.
      Provided that we agree on this, the role of public education is to compensate this by giving all children an appropriat
      • The reality is right now that most parents do not have the time nor the knowledge or the ability to educate their children. Provided that we agree on this, the role of public education is to compensate this by giving all children an appropriate background to learn and think about the world on their own, and participate actively in public life.

        Society begins and ends with parenting. If the quality of proper parenting is kept to a minimum, the downfall of civilization as we know it is imminent. But to advocat

  • In what sense? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ugen (93902) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @04:06PM (#38929167)

    This is as poorly defined question as I've seen in a long time.

    Do you mean that a model of children being taught by adults would disappear? If so - it's been the only way humanity operated for the last few thousand years. I don't see how that can change.

    Do you mean that children will no longer be educated in centralized school environment? If so - it's been the only way for the last few hundred years (for those who had any education, anyway). As long as education is perceived as necessary - that's the only way it could be.

    Now, if we have drastic changes in economic system - may be. For example, we could admit that majority of world population does not have anything useful to contribute to economic process or production, and somehow find a way to distribute goods and services to them without demanding "labor". If so - education will no longer be required, at least for that part of population. However, the remainder still have to learn somehow - and I don't see any viable models other than "experienced teacher teaches a child". (Well, also direct upload of knowledge into brain - but that's pure Sci Fi for now)

  • There is a lot in technology that is very hands on and lot that you can't learn in a class room now tech schools have there short falls but college CS is even more in need of change.

    • It would appear, e.g. from your post, that the teaching of english is in dire need of improvement as well. Isn't it curious that people who have a lot of "hands-on" experience in writing english can be so profoundly bad at it? It would seem that you have successfully undermined your own argument; apparently the fact that you do something a lot does not automatically make you any good at it.
  • by blindbat (189141) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @05:15PM (#38929643)

    He told me that the education system was not about education--it was about socialization.

    That mentality is not something that is going away any time soon.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      What's wrong with that mentality? You think society gets anywhere by throwing a bunch of books at students and walking away? Society is built on rules, even rules about how to learn and convey knowledge. For society, the rules are far more important than the technical knowledge and skills. For society, replacing the tech at the chemical plant is far more important than nurturing an Einstein.

      • I wouldn't say more important, I would say it is a more immediate need, but human society only progresses by satisfying less urgent needs.
        It is because we have poets and theoretical physicists and mathematicians that we are who we are today. Without this ability to nurture "useless" people we would be apes, eating, fighting, shitting and fucking. that's all we "need".
    • by Kohath (38547)

      Tell him he should be getting paid minimum wage then. It takes zero skill to oversee "socialization".

      • by Hentes (2461350)

        In most countries teachers tend to be badly payed, which is why it's a carreer choice of lots of morons.

        • by Kohath (38547)

          In the US, teacher pay is far higher than the average worker. And that's before you account for the fact that teachers work many fewer days in a year and receive much, much higher non-monetary compensation (benefits) than the average worker.

          • by riverat1 (1048260)

            Most teachers start out with a Bachelors degree and within not too many years have the equivalent of a Masters because of continuing education. The teachers I've known spend time in the summers doing that continuing education at their own expense. Most of them spend far more than 40 hours a week on their work Rather than comparing their pay to the average worker compare it to others with their level of education. I'm not saying there aren't some bad teachers out there but most of them want to do their b

          • by Altanar (56809)
            Where are are your sources? Here are some of mine:

            "The national average wage index for 2010 is $41,673.83" --via http://www.ssa.gov/oact/COLA/AWI.html [ssa.gov]

            "The average starting salary for teachers is $39,000; the average ending salary — after 25 years in the profession." — is $67,000. --via http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/opinion/01eggers.html [nytimes.com]

            "We found that the average weekly pay of teachers in 2003 was nearly 14% below that of workers with similar education and work experience, a gap o
        • In most countries teachers tend to be badly payed, which is why it's a carreer choice of lots of morons.

          Case in point for one of those teacher's students: "payed" instead of "paid".

    • by nku (982751)
      Even socialization is becoming more and more "virtualized" with facebook and stuff. How long would it be before the kids will not even meet their "best" friends except for sports and dating?
      • Which is very unfortunate. People are not learning to be social on the internet. They are learning the complete opposite.

        Sure, some people are complete @sshats in real life, but I still have hope that most of the people that act like @ss-clowns on the internet do not behave that way during real, live, in-person social situations.

      • Here too, in-person socialization CANNOT be replaced by cyberspace social networking and interactions. Recent study demonstrated that girls that spent lots of time with Facebook and other social media had marked ABNORMAL social skills.
    • I wonder if you meant socialization or socialism.

      In the case of the former, this is very important, particularly for children. They learn to work with others, deal with beaurocracy, and deal with rules. Hopefully also learning that some rules are easier to break than others. :) So while children are nominally learning math and reading, what they're really supposed to be learning is how to function as adults.

      In the case of the latter, well, public education is, by definition, socialism. While it is very

  • Missing option: The faster, the better. Less bullies, less textbooks to lug around, less school buildings to construct and supply, and more learning to do.

    I'd prefer, though, that the old way be replaced with a government-subsidized* "traveling teacher" model in which teachers spend a bit of time in each home and take the needed (preferably free-content) books (probably just a teacher edition and one or two student editions), then the students can go to a massive central lab and gym building (or maybe the

    • by Nidi62 (1525137)

      I'd prefer, though, that the old way be replaced with a government-subsidized* "traveling teacher" model in which teachers spend a bit of time in each home and take the needed (preferably free-content) books (probably just a teacher edition and one or two student editions), then the students can go to a massive central lab and gym building (or maybe the current anti-terror laws can be relaxed and we can get chemistry sets?) to fill those vacua

      There is no way that this could ever happen without several major cultural and economical changes to this country. Changes that would make your suggestion irrelevant. Take for example heavily rural and heavily urban areas. In some rural areas you could have 40-50 miles between houses, if not more. With an hour of travel time, a teacher could realistically only visit 2-3 homes and have enough time to actually teach anything, without having to spend 20+ hours a day teaching. Also, for many urban areas fa

    • by turing_m (1030530)

      Missing option: The faster, the better. Less bullies, less textbooks to lug around, less school buildings to construct and supply, and more learning to do.

      While I agree that some of those things are good, I think something that we have to watch out for is creating a system where the intelligent and wealthy never get any exposure to the lower rungs of society. Without this, it's too easy to take your experience with the upper echelon and falsely generalize it to the rest of society. Some people are naturally

  • Homescoling (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 04, 2012 @06:21PM (#38930049)

    Homscooling si the way of the future. Lok at me, I was homscoold

  • I was lucky to get in a high school where teachers were held to a high standard in terms of knowledge in their subjects, some of them were also professors at universities and almost all of them had some professional work outside of school. With the right kind of teachers, classroom education can be done pretty well. But most of my experiences with other schools and the tales I've heard of them suggest that this is very rare. Classroom education could be done well - but the current system is mostly obsolete.

  • by PPH (736903) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @07:46PM (#38930509)

    There's the issue of social interaction. I mean in meatspace, not FaceBook. Try replacing that with an online/homeschool/whatever model. Then there's the issue of adult supervision. Some kids' parents have to work and can't just leave them at home. And then there are hands-on activities that one just can't replicate online. Like band, sports, shop class, PE (sorry nerds, get off your fat, Cheeto-munching asses).

    I do think that advances in online learning will make significant inroads into the traditional education system. There will be facilities with adult supervision. But it will be possible to 'import' the services of skilled instructors from far away (like into disadvantaged neighborhoods) to augment the resident staff. And there will be more (although not complete) autonomy, particularly with students identified as being self motivated. Others will still require oversight or they'll just end up smoking in the parking lot all day.

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      I also wonder how one can learn how to read and write using just on-line classes, for example.

  • It's already dead, it just hasn't been buried yet.
  • The poll is too broad. This model varies from country to country and these variations are, indeed, big. Everything from overuse of technology to evaluation procedures is different in one way or another.
  • As others have said, the question is too ambiguous even by normal /. poll standards. I'm interpreting it to mean a traditional 20-25:1 student to teacher ratio K-12 classroom (although we obviously have many broken districts where an insane ratio of as high as 60-70:1 exists).

    At the moment, most teachers who are provided with laptops, electronic whiteboards, digital projectors and document cameras tend to use them as analogous replacements for - or supplemental to - traditional teaching methods.

    The standar

  • The current system is about the same as 30 years ago. Since the boarding school system used 70 years ago is obsolete now, I am going to guess 50 years is about right for obsolescence.

  • by BlueScreenO'Life (1813666) on Saturday February 04, 2012 @10:54PM (#38931621)
    ... is any indication, it already is. (Hint: NATO vs Warsaw Pact)
  • by cosm (1072588) <thecosm3@EEEgmail.com minus threevowels> on Sunday February 05, 2012 @12:09AM (#38931995)
    It already is.
  • The real question is how long before we realize that it is obsolete?

    My guess, within the decade.

  • by DERoss (1919496) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @08:31PM (#38938149)

    My daughter has a MA degree in education. Her master's project involved creating a Web-based class in treating an infectious disease for the continuing education that is required for physicians to keep their medical licenses. That class was actually put into use in the Canadian province where she lives. She is now recognized as an expert in distance learning over the Internet for adult education.

    One part of her research investigated how well adults learn over the Web. She found that Web-based classes are far more effective if the students meet as a group with the instructor in a classroom about once a month. Moreover, she found that learning occurred not only during such classroom time but also during informal student get-together sessions immediately after the classroom time.

    A few students who were participating in the Web-based class my daughter investigated could not travel to attend these classroom sessions and the after-class get-togethers. My daughter discovered that those isolated students suffered a small degradation in their learning. Apparently the interaction of students with each other enhances learning as does the group interaction of students with instructors.

  • It seems likely that in the, probably far future, classrooms will be passe, either because we'll have figured out how to inject knowledge directly into our brains, or we will not have brains, or we won't exist either at all or not in this form. So "never" is obviously incorrect. But it will take more than 100 years...
  • We thought that teachers would be supplanted by video conferencing. Before that, the radio. It didn't work either time.

    Come to think of it, we've been trying to reform the classroom from a human angle too. That didn't work either.

    Whether we want to admit to it or not, there is something about those archaic practices that works. It seems like it shouldn't, but it does since the best we can do is tweak it in rather minor ways. Perhaps that is telling us something about human nature, something we don't want to

  • This one single educational model for everyone was broken from the start. Mostly it stifles the natural urge to learn. Children are born ridiculously curious and if you feed that, they'll learn at a rate that embarrasses the current system. But, everyone learns differently: some learn best by watching something, others by hearing, others by experimenting. Some are big-picture thinkers, others are specialists.

    I think the Socratic method is the ideal teaching system, because it encourages everyone on thei

  • Just because we (or the vast majority) can't afford it won't necessarily mean it's no longer the best (or among the best) options.
  • Would you go under the knife of a surgeon with an internet diploma?
  • A school turned lessons around. Homework was to watch video's of the lecture. Class time was for doing what is normally considered "homework" problem assignments. The teacher was able to provide lots of 1 on 1 coaching to the students to solve the problems.
    Students could go through the lectures at their own pace on their own time.

    This is Kahn academy style applied to the classroom.

    http://usergeneratededucation.wordpress.com/2011/06/13/the-flipped-classroom-model-a-full-picture/

    • by PackMan97 (244419)

      I was going to post this exact issue. The best of the best will have kids watching their instruction on youtube and the average teacher will be turned into a homework monkey. A really hope my kid (1 year old now) gets a chance to learn in a flipped classroom.

  • Wait! What about all the talk of the need for more ethnic/cultural diversity in the classrooms? Isn't this supposed to, somehow, increase the information flow and improve the learning experience by varying the discourse among different viewpoints... or something? Are we prepared to abandon the chief motivator for affirmative action?
  • Because back then it looked like proprietary systems were finally a thing of the past. The web promised that one could actually write a computerized lesson, and you'd still be able to read it 50 years later, by having a bunch of files interpreted by your browser. Or also systems like Squeak which promised to integrate computers into education, by actually allowing the user to conduct thought experiments with the computer.

    Then came DRM and ruined that dream. Now we have computers with deliberate anti-feature

Parkinson's Law: Work expands to fill the time alloted it.

 



Forgot your password?
Working...