By Tom Hanley, Former Director of Professional Development and Innovations,
NB Department of Education
What If #1
What if we were able to analyze the very basic educational transaction that takes place in a school? Might we be able to identify the elements of that basic transaction? Well, let’s give it a try.
Let’s see – there is a TEACHER who teaches some CONTENT to some STUDENTS and that happens over some period of TIME and it happens in an environment which is both a PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT and a SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT.
Are there any other basic elements? Hmmm? Not that I can think of just now, but perhaps you can. If so, let me know.
What If #2
What if we were able to take the elements of the basic educational transaction and rearrange their order? Would the revised order have any implications as to how a school might be organized? Hmmm?
What if we reorganized the elements so they looked like this:
A STUDENT learns some content with the help of a TEACHER and this happens over a period of TIME in an environment which is both a PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT and a SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT.
I wonder if this rearrangement would have any implications for how students were expected to behave.
I wonder if there might be implications for content and how it would be organized and presented.
I wonder if there might be implications for the role of the teacher.
I wonder if the organization of time in the school might be different.
I wonder if there might be implications for how the physical structures within a school would be shaped.
I wonder how the social relationships between students and between students and teachers might be affected.
I wonder if this theoretical rearrangement of the elements of the basic educational transaction raises questions in your mind. If so, let me know. We have lots to explore.