For a hundred years or more schools looked and operated more or less the same. There are multiple classrooms, in each classroom is a teacher and with each teacher there is 15-35 students. The teacher has been the fount of all knowledge and the sole dictator of time and schedule, while the student sits passively absorbing knowledge through the copying and completion of tasks into some form of workbook.
Throughout the industrial age, students were being prepared for jobs on a process line or in a cubical. The culture of no talking and listen to me in classrooms was evenly matched by the no talking and do as I say culture of the workplace.
The workplace has changed and so is the classroom, albeit slowly. The tools that our students and teachers have and the future careers that we are preparing our students for are changing at an exponential rate. However, as the tools, students and the future is changing, the speed of change for teachers generally, sadly lagging behind. Many of our teacher training institutions are still preparing teachers for single cell classrooms and simple not ensuring the technological competency of their graduates to face a classroom where each of their students has a device in hand. Most teachers in the system have been teaching in single cell classrooms with pen and paper but the modern learning environment constitutes shared learning spaces where most, if not all students have a device in hand.
I have had the privilege of leading a brand new campus with classrooms which are designed as flexible, shared learning spaces. Since being here we have had no less than a dozen school visit to see the learning spaces in action, as there are either building a new school or classes or reconfiguring current single cell teaching spaces. Not one of the new builds is designed around a single cell classroom concept. Each new build is also designed to incorporate mobile technology and has a strong emphasis on the use of digital technologies in the learning process.
From my own experience, there is a big shift that must happen if teachers are to make the most of the new modern learning spaces. The stop talking and do what I say simply does not empower learning experiences in the way needed to maximize the learning opportunities.