The Learning Renaissance

The Future of Learning… As Seen From the Nineteenth Century!


I came across this woodcut from a nineteenth century French conception of the future classroom of the year 2000.

I found it acutely depressing in its conception for a number of reasons…

Whilst it is inspired in predicting what might be considered a ‘computer’ to transmit information through electronic means, what really strikes me is how little the classroom format and therefore the principles of learning has changed.

The mincing of the books to be reduced to electronic signals suggests that, as in the nineteenth century, the fundamental purpose of learning is knowledge transmission, and the students are passive receivers, rather than active participants. What they learn is determined by the teacher. That gives an inkling of a command, or potentially totalitarian society – indeed in the passive stares of the students, there is a little of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis about this scene.

The Learning Renaissance looks to build future learning on more inspiring formats and with learners becoming active, autonomous and independent learners. That is the best format to preserve democracy and to unleash the potential of young people to address the formidable challenges society faces currently and in future.

About educationalist04

I'm convinced we can, as a species, do much better than this if we set our minds to being much more positive and productive towards our fellow humans. The solution is learning - creating independent and autonomous learners who can problem solve, innovate and create a better more equitable and sustainable world. My books, Future Proof Your School and Re-Examining Success together with this blog, explore how better learning outcomes for all can be achieved.

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This entry was posted on April 22, 2019 by in Editorial, Humour and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .



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