Closed format school teaching

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The problem is…

Traditionally, school systems focused on the improvement of teachers’ abilities in content delivery rather than students’ learning abilities.

The proposed solution might apply when…

As the 21st century (digital) society is rapidly changing, schools are less able to transfer contents apt to remain useful during the whole student/person’s lifetime; hence, what society should ask schools is less content transfer and more support to the students’ development of learning abilities.

The solution proposed is…

A cultural shift is needed to recognize DiDIY and new technologies not only as a mere practical tool, but also, more importantly, as an opportunity to improve the (digital) culture of the society. Several possible complementary solutions are available, e.g., learning weeks for teachers; helping teachers to learn how to access existing resources, also via appropriate policies implemented by school principals.

The expected outcome is…

A more student-centered education, leading students to Flipped classroom set-ups, based on self-education / student empowerment paradigm.

Other information

This pattern relates to situations strongly related to national cultural specificities, so that we can expect significant differences in different countries.


In this rapidly changing social and technological context, learning abilities are much more important than in the past, but schools are usually unable to cope with this.

Significant influencing factors

Benefits obtained by the traditional paradigm, which produced significant improvements to society (in particular mass scholar education), in some cases seem still outweigh the expected benefits of the new paradigm. Not surprisingly, school is a complex, inertial system, starting from the hard change of support teachers in learning how to reconsider their educational role (consider the basic difference: teaching teachers how… vs supporting teachers in learning how…): it would be DIY “from the teachers’ side”. Students’ evaluation has been modeled on the basis of the school-as-content-transfer institution framework so far, so that teachers lack ways to evaluate students as DiDIYers (assessing students’ attitudes or skills is much harder than assessing their knowledge of contents -- or their ability to repeat contents; a provocative case: is it better a right answer obtained in a wrong way -- say, a purely mechanical and a-critic procedure --, or a wrong answer obtained in a smart and creative way? -- would, e.g., OECD PISA framework fit in this?).



Related Patterns

Anti-pattern: teaching digital technologies and tools in the traditional, content-focused way, as the adoption of digital entities in education would be sufficient to solve the problem. Related pattern: Assessment of skill-based education

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