Is there still a future for the existing model of the school?
The classical model should not have existed ever but it does, it was born from necessity as a lesser evil and since it was implemented, nobody ever contested the viability of the system and no one challenged its concepts. Those that did were put in ridicule, ignored or labelled as delusional and we were always lead to believe that there cannot be any realistic alternative.
The truth is that to make a revolution, a real change in the way education and learning is provided will need a significant shift in the way of thinking. Some will consider it radical, and the implementation will be so difficult that it will look very discouraging.
Besides, as with all new complex systems it will be prone to occasional failures, experimentation and selection of the best techniques which will all demand several years to reach the operational phase. It will also need parents whom are ready to allow their kids to participate in such a development for the general good.
But with the decline and mass failings of the educational systems (all based on the classic model) we should ask ourselves the question: should we keep on with the same system despite its sorry state just because we were subject to the same? Or should we give a chance to an alternative system which may bring some rejuvenation and application of more progressive ideas instead of more of the same stagnation?
It is not an easy decision and I already mentioned some of the problems related but I do believe it is possible. Finland that is considered by many as the best Educational system in the world today has done the first step towards the new school model.
Their model include less populated classrooms, more teacher per pupil, less overload of subjects and hours, less tests, quizzes and homework based on a policy of trust; and of course: more funding for teaching and learning devices. On the other hand they are very strict about their demands for proper qualifications from their teachers who are monitored and regularly instructed and very generously rewarded. The Finish model gives a hint of what can be achieved once there is the will to introduce a new vision into the educational system.
The beauty of the system implemented in Finland is that it can be implemented anywhere. Each country can make adjustments to adapt it to its own particular set of needs. The implementation can be performed in stages according to their natural possibilities and the resources available. The changes needed in the way of teaching and administration can be done gradually but in a relative short time. The only real obstacle is the conservative way of thinking that should be overcome as part of the process.