Education System Change Model
Here we have a cube of three faces. The top, labeled,” Modes of Instruction”, includes three modes.
Self-paced, which is presented in a computer assisted instruction mode (CAI), allows the student to have the opportunity to use the computer as a learning tool. It also allows the curriculum to be on a server with students having access 24/7. A management system associated with this mode keeps track of each student’s progress and the choices taken by the student in order to achieve the objectives. This allows time to vary and mastery what is sought for each student. The two areas taught in this manner are English and Math. These are the two languages that must be mastered in order for students to become independent learners.
The second mode of instruction is referred to as the tutorial. It involves the teacher utilizing a problem approach to teach Social Science and Science. Social Science should be taught conceptually. Let’s take revolution as an example. What countries have had a revolution in the past 50 years? Having identified the countries (with computer as research tool), they form small groups and research the conditions that existed which encouraged the people to start a revolution. Each group gives a report on a different country. The next question is to identify the conditions which are similar. After this exercise, have them predict where in the world they think the next revolution might occur and why. Again, this should lead to discussion after research. Depending on the level of the students, we might want them to answer the question, ”What role, if any, should the United States take and why?” For this task, they might use a power point presentation, thus utilizing the computer as a communication tool. Science also should be taught as a “verb”, not as a “noun”. This allows for students to work alone or in pairs (CAI), or in small groups (project approach), to share responsibility, communicate through e-mail and finally make a presentation to the entire class for discussion purposes.
On the left side of the cube, you will see the elements which must be in place before this can be put into operation. You must spend time with members of the different communities so that they “buy into” the change. Note the word “communities” is plural. We refer to the business community, clergy, parents, teachers and others in the environment. The curriculum must be chosen which will be placed on the server (English and Math). There are a number of programs available now.
Teachers must be trained to allow each student to progress at his/her own pace in the CAI approach, and yet be able to integrate them into the other two modes. Some teachers find it difficult to allow students to learn at their own rate without being actually instructed by them. In the CAI mode, the teacher should be a motivator and one who rewards each student for success. The teacher is responsible for setting the stage for the other two modes of instruction.
There must be a student management system in order to keep track of each student’s progress in all three modes. The system also is available to parents so that they can see their children’s progress as well. In addition, it allows the teacher to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each student, thus enabling the teacher to provide the proper material for each student.
Each student should have his/her own computer (given by the school), which is theirs to keep through elementary school. At the end of the fifth grade, they can buy it for one dollar. A more sophisticated computer will be given to them when they enter middle school, and this should be kept until they graduate from high school. They can buy this for one dollar as well.
It is important that the school system hire a technology architect (IT) so that all technology systems are integrated and can speak to one another. The teacher will need the demographic information as well as the student information system.
The last face of the cube refers to “Time”. Changing any educational system requires time and the availability of all systems being in place, the teachers trained, all classrooms having access to the internet, and all students having their own computers. It is for this reason that COST and TIME are at the very bottom of the cube.