Thursday, 24 April 2008

21st century education buildings...... and no sign of technology?

I was quite bemused to read recently the KPMG report "Investment in school facilities and PFI - do they play a role in educational outcomes?'.

The findings, in brief, apparently show that investment does lead to improved attainment and in schools procurred using private finance, students appear to achieve better educational outcomes more quickly. It does briefly indicate in a diagram that investment in human capital development should happen simultaneously with the investment in education - not as an afterthought as I have seen a number of times now! Buildings don't improve student attainment - it is what happens inside that building that is the key. We all know that............................ don't we?

What really bemused me though is that to support this extremely glossy publication were a series of large very 'arty' photographs, of... pencils, more pencils, a traditional library and a classroom (a box!), complete with ....blackboard! Not a sign of any form of technology in the whole thing - not even a computer. A colleague of mine really thought about writing in about 21st learning environments, the role of ICT and much much more.

Perhaps the report was totally data driven and all done deep in some office block.. but as the report is about the impact of new buildings, perhaps the report photographer or designer should visit a 21st century learning environment and see one in action sometime, rather than just rely on the usual very traditional images !
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