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Evolution of The Classroom

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Sam Gutmanis

on 19 March 2014

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Transcript of Evolution of The Classroom

Evolution of the Classroom
Education Methods of New France and Previous Times (1600-1764)
Before there was even any form of public education and before the French came to Canada, the First Nations peoples learned the skills necessary to survive the winters from their tribes and families. Once the French arrived, Catholic Churches were established to spread the religion but also taught some children (mostly boys) natural sciences, mathematics, religion, and French. The girls' formal education was very limited compared to the boys and they often didn't learn anything more than needlework, religious instruction and a few other things. Even though these forms of formal education were available, the majority of children stayed at home and learned spinning, clearing, and gardening. The children learned at home mostly due to the population being small and dispersed throughout the country.
British North America Schooling
After the British Conquest and the fall of New France, the area became British North America and was controlled by the British. Once the British were in control they had a different view of public education than France. The British were concerned about the large population of French in the colony and saw public education as a way of using British customs and the English language to promote cultural identification. The British tried to establish schools out of the Catholic Church’s control to promote non French education. These schools were eventually undermined due to public disinterest and the efforts of the Catholic Church. Despite the British’s efforts of more schooling, most children during the 18th and early 19th century still received little to no formal education either through a tutor or through schooling.
Mid 19th Century British Schooling
It was during this time period that public education became more popular because of the efforts of the “School Promoters” and the fact that the economy was becoming unstable and parents were planning for their children’s future. The parents started enrolling their children in school because due to the economic instability of the time they focused on having children and giving them a better education. “School Promoters” were educational officials throughout Canada that were often in touch. These officials debated about participation, financing, and control. One of them, Egerton Ryerson traveled to over 20 countries spreading his proposals for public education systems. By the 1840s the school system can clearly be recognized in official agreements. By the later 19th century the majority of parents were enrolling their children in school. There was some resistance to this change from parents who didn't want to pay extra taxes, parents who didn't like the teachers, and parents who wanted to keep the connection to religious instruction. The parents encouraged their students to go to school because they wanted them to learn how to read, write, and do arithmetic whereas the educational officials wanted children to go to school because they wanted them to learn proper behaviour and character formation. Many parents only sent their children to school because there were no other priorities that stopped them from going. Even though all of these children started going to school, francophones (French Canadians) still did not have a strong attachment to the schooling system.
20th Century Education
The 20th century is when the school really began to change and become the most commonly used form of education. Often the schools were only one room and the students sat in rows according to their date of birth and faced the teacher as they verbally presented the lessons for a variety of subjects to their students. Some of the students had to write down notes based on the teacher’s lectures or copied from the blackboard and learning was very teacher directed. The older students all had to do this to prepare for exams. It was during this time that grading was introduced. The students would be given grades on tasks performed in the classroom. This was introduced into the classroom because schools wanted to easily be able to know how well a student could perform a discrete task. During this time period many students with a learning disability did not receive the help that they would now due to the lack of technology available to them. However they did receive a large amount of support from their teachers and peers.
Education of the Future
Education has evolved all the way from the Churches of New France to the multi-room hi-tech schools of today but, where will they go next? What educational and technological advancements will be made in the classroom of the future? I envision the future classroom having a 1:1 ratio of computers to students, having a significantly reduced amount of paper usage from the use of more technology in more schools, and also more inquiry based learning. David Carruthers (a teacher at Mitchell Hepburn Public School highly supportive of classrooms collaborating with technology) predicted "The classroom of tomorrow, will be very student-focused as opposed to the very teacher-directed model that has been in place for the past 150 years. In this environment, the teacher will take on the role of adviser and facilitator. A greater sense of global and digital citizenship will be established, driven primarily by advancements in technology. The 4 "C's" will be embraced: creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration." As the world continues to change education will continue to change, through current events and technological advancements. The education system has come a long way but it still has a long way to go. No one could have predicted where we'd be today, remember the flying cars we are all supposed to be in now? But who would've dreamed we'd be carrying computers around in our pockets, will there be holographic teachers at our houses? Will an education chip be implanted into our heads? Will we be learning while we sleep? As technology advances exponentially who knows how it will change education?
20th Century Education (Continued)
Schools during this time would not allow students to write using their left hand and could only write with their right hand as recently as the late 1960s. Students would write with a pencil (just like today) until they were in about grade seven, which is when students used a straight pen, inkwell, and a blotter. It was considered to be a big deal once they could use the pens. Students in grade eight would have to take exams before advancing to high school. In order to create and maintain student discipline the strap (a big black leather strap) would be used when the student misbehaved. The teacher would deliver a swift blow to the hand. The subjects that were taught were basically the same subjects that are taught today (math, social studies, science, art, English, geography, music (once a week)). Spelling and penmanship were stressed but aren't seen to be as vital today. A former student (Margaret Ferguson) of a one room schoolhouse SS #6 Yarmouth during the 1940s was interviewed about her experiences. She recollects having to sweep the floors, bring wood inside to light the fire, pump and carry the water into the school because she was also the custodian. She recalled having a victory garden at the school during the war where they grew a variety of vegetables until the war was over. In an interview with Marjory Watson (a previous teacher and custodian at SS #12 Yarmouth and recently retired as of 2013) stated that during the 1960s organization was very important for both the teachers and students. It was a huge job to prepare and teach lessons for eight different grade level. In her class the only difference between the one room schoolhouse in the forties and the sixties was that they had a ballpoint pens, a record player, and a film projector that three schools around the area would share. The technologies introduced during the 20th century include films, scantrons (for marking multiple choice tests), calculators, whiteboards, computers, and eventually Smartboards.
21st Century Learning
The present day learning system for students has changed drastically since the 17th century now involving much more inquiry based learning and much more technology. Instead of only consisting of long lectures from the teachers, students are now encouraged to do more activities with more self-direction. With the availability of technology, students and teachers now have access to more tools to better enhance the learning experience. The subjects taught in the present day classrooms now include media literacy and incorporate technology into almost all classes. With about 90% of students under the age of 18 having access to a mobile device, it presents the alternative of students bringing their devices into the classroom instead of all devices inside of the classroom being school funded. Now computers are the most commonly found piece of technology in classrooms of today. Mobile devices (such as iPods and iPads) are being used more throughout the learning community. Video games such as Minecraft are also starting to be used in schools to enhance the learning and understanding of a variety of subjects. "Apps" used on computers and mobile devices including Evernote, Edmoto, Lino, Popplet, Prezi, and a variety of Google programs are all programs that are used to take notes, present projects and ideas, and to involve students in their learning. With the technology available today, students with learning disabilities are able to receive the help that they require through programs such as Kurzweil and Dragon dictate to help facilitate their learning.
Interviewing Margaret Ferguson about her school SS #6 Yarmouth. She was the only student in her grade throughout elementary school.
SS #6 Yarmouth
An example of a 1 room schoolhouse during the 1900s
Interviewing Marjory Watson about her teaching at SS #12 Yarmouth during 1967
By: Sam Gutmanis
Grade: 7
School: Mitchell Hepburn
Date Submitted: March 19th 2014
School, we all know what it is, a place where children go to learn a variety of subjects with our peers. For most of us, school has been a part of our lives since the age of four. We have our different grades, our separate classrooms and learn different things to prepare us for our future careers. This is how we know school today, but it isn't how it has always been and definitely not how it will be in the future. Public education has changed a lot over time from single room schoolhouses to the high tech classrooms of today.

One of the churches in New France
Flying car
Apple iPad and iPod
Roderick Ferguson
Margaret Ferguson
Marjory Watson
Full transcript