The world of education has changed a lot in recent years. It is becoming increasingly difficult for teachers to cope with growing classroom sizes and the ever-higher demands that education officers are placing on them. Mixed-ability classrooms are taxing the time and mental energy of teachers, holding back the more advanced students and depriving the students with learning difficulties the opportunity to learn.
For some people, the future of education is now homeschooling. Thanks to the Internet, it is possible for parents to access a huge amount of information about any subject, and access support and assistance in their homeschooling endeavors.
Children can lead their own learning, researching subjects that interest them in-depth, and working on highly creative projects. This empowers them in a way that they would not otherwise be able to enjoy if they were studying in a mainstream classroom environment.
The danger with this sort of thing, however, is over-specialisation. When children are allowed to guide their own learning there is the risk that they will ignore subjects that do not interest them, or shy away from difficult subjects because of a fear of failure.
Also, without the socialisation of a classroom, the students are more likely to end up feeling isolated. There is a lot to be said for classroom environments, and the teamwork and social skills that come from mixing with children of their own age.
Traditional methods of teaching have been used for so long because they work. That’s not to say that technology cannot improve upon or augment them, and an attentive parent homeschooling and nurturing their child can certainly offer a lot, but there are benefits and downsides to every method, and the future of education will likely see techniques go in and out of fashion over the years.