Posted on Graham Attwells blog April 30/07. referencing some notes he made back last december, but intends to update shortly. Will post more discussionsfromGrahams blog in the PLE pages.
Schooling is based on an industrial model: ways of learning organising knowledge development around an industrial model. Some brave attempts to break away. Attwell provides the following taxonomy of characteristics-[with some comments added by me].
Motivation: most countries compulsory education between 4-18. After that its up to ones motivation to continue in education.
Ethos:dualism for education. On one hand education is pose as an entitlement for integration and participation in society and for providing an undertsanding of the tenets of arts and society; pnhte othere hand more recently the role of education in providing skills and knolwedge required foremlpoyability has been stressed.
Institutional organisation: institutions organised by group/sector/subject/geographical basis. I would add other agencies also influence such as external suppliers/
Management: Instituions managed by appointed managers (gov/religious/private/commercially funded)
Curriculum: Most important feature is division oflearning into subjects,usually based on post rennaissance subject taxonomy. Often curriculum is severely retrained by requiremnts of qualifications. Little options for students esp. during compulsory years.
Pedagogy: various practices, however all influenced by curriculum [I’d add assessment] and school organisation [add resources]
Times: I would argue set times in schools are one of the greatest impediments to flexibility. Even the school bus timetables hold the school to ransom in terms of its options.
Buildings and classrooms
Contexts for learning: Most learning is based in an instituion [not sure why he makes this separate from above-maybe its the distinction that most of our school based earning is removed from theworkplace learning ]
Learning materials: largely based on standardised textbooks [produced by commrecialpublishers for curriciulum organisations]
Enrolment: usually enrolled by age/sex/attainment
Qualifications: et by national/state bodies
Role of teachers: Learning focused around teachers. [still seen as experts.]
Quality: usually through external inspection/
Funding: usually from central/local governments/or private
Obviously there is a limted choice for earners in such a system.