Much has been theorized about education, technology and the return to the classroom, but in general we have forgotten to ask the people who spend the most time in school: boys and girls. And to this end, Fnac, in its commitment to culture and education, has decided to listen to students from schools and institutes of Spain of public, private and concerted education, so that they can tell us how they want the school of the future to be, the teaching and learning methods they want to receive, and the role of technologies in their training.
The school in the coming years is projected as a more interactive place, with methodologies supported by new technologies that allow a more practical and fun learning, with less memorization, and that influences more useful teaching and training for the student himself and for the society.
This has been the main conclusion that has been drawn from the study “Imagining a new school” that Fnac has carried out among high school and high school students (between 12 and 16 years old) to find out how they would like the school to be as a place for learning. learning and training.
Likewise, the brand has organized a meeting where a group of boys and girls from the SEK-El Castillo, SEK-Ciudalcampo and SEK-Santa Isabel schools, led by the teacher and author of several educational books Cesar Bona, the innovation specialist educational Carlos Magro and the head of children’s books at Fnac Callao Silvia de la Cruz, have presented their particular vision that confirms the most important resolutions of the study.
A more experiential and practical teaching
After listening to the 6th Primary and 1st ESO students debate about how they want their ideal school to be, one thing has become clear: they want to be out in the yard all day. This is their first answer, but when they reflect a little more they comment that they would like “to keep the important subjects such as mathematics or science, but adding other subjects more related to art and culture in general, including philosophy, or practices as first aid” .
And of course they want the elderly to listen to them and that they can have a voice to “choose the subjects, if not all, yes those subjects that we would like to investigate more; and with closer, fun teachers who make us learn without seeming to they are teaching us. “
These opinions confirm some of the conclusions of the investigation carried out by Fnac. And the thing is that Spanish students like their school or institute, but they want to improve their learning and make school more fun. Therefore, they demand proposals based on experience (less theory and more practice), methodologies that help them exploit and enhance the specific skills and abilities of each student, do more activities outside the classroom, and above all, that the environment is more technological, with greater participation and a more enthusiastic faculty.
Specifically, nine out of ten students (88.7%) like their school or institute a lot or a lot as a place of learning. And 44% of them want less theory and more practice: learning by doing and experimenting.
Almost 36% want a more personalized education, aimed at exploiting the abilities of each student.
33% ask for more access to technology and innovations .
13% would like spacious classrooms with differentiated spaces.
For another 13%, have environments (orchard, workshop ??) to develop practical knowledge.
“Listening to children is a luxury and unfortunately we hardly stop to do so. Their opinions count and we must take them into consideration from now on. We project the future onto them, but they want to live in the present and sometimes with our expectations we do not let them” , reflects César Bona after talking with the students. “Some of you have mentioned that you would like to take philosophy classes from an early age, and it is important to teach yourself and help you think. Knowing the principles of philosophy would induce you from an early age to reason and discuss, since you are not so influenced or so marked by what adults want from you. “
On the other hand, students consider practical aspects such as learning everyday things (cooking, fixing toys or electronic devices) and managing knowledge of law and economics necessary for their training . Sustainability is the third key aspect for them. They want to learn to care for and effectively manage the planet’s resources; reduce waste, pollution and live in balance with the rest of the species. And what they consider less important is the development of social skills such as dialogue, public speaking, working on empathy and diversity, cooperation and teamwork? And how to develop a critical spirit or analytical skills to be able to make good decisions.
Carlos Magro, a specialist in educational innovation, concludes after talking with the children that “it is striking to see how children have things very clear and how adults take certain issues for granted, such as, for example, that they do not like the subject of history . And it turns out that it is not. But this is a good sign that the school is working well and that it is discovering new things to the students, awakening their concerns. And that is why it is essential to listen to them, because then we get such pleasant surprises like checking that they are prepared for tomorrow. They depend on us, but we depend – and will depend – even more on them. “
More access to technology and innovations
Technology has proven to be a fantastic tool to help students learn, especially in times of pandemic. And this is how students perceive it, who, during conversations at Fnac, have confirmed that “it helps us to connect, play, interact with friends and have access to many things, and it helps us expand what they teach us in class and investigate” . And it is that many have alluded to that when a topic interests them especially in class, they have the ability to delve into it at home thanks to the accessibility of the Internet. However, to study, specifically for when they have to memorize, they prefer traditional methods (taking notes on paper notes, placing post-its, making diagrams …) as it helps them concentrate better, without distractions,
In this line, the children surveyed have expressed their opinion, who imagine a school where they can learn using other types of media. They believe that they learn more through books, films, documentaries; through interactive resources such as video games or educational tools, or by exchanging information with your friends.
In addition, they perceive that technology helps them learn more by being able to access, mainly, forums and communities in which topics of interest are shared. Technological devices also allow them access to podcasts, or educational and cultural centers.
“Students want a school that is more active and open to today’s society, that encourages experimentation and prepares them for real life. They want to develop their particular skills without forgetting a strong base of basic knowledge and general culture. They conceive technology more as a means to learn rather than an end. They do not consider it so important to be taught technological skills, but rather they value it as a tool to access learning “, declares Beatriz Navarro, director of Marketing and Communication at Fnac.
Finally, the surveyed students perceive the figure of the teacher as fundamental for a new type of school . They demand that the teachers like the subject and teach it like a game, that they want to do new things, that they be closer and that they make the knowledge reach better.
“If we have learned something in the last year and a half, it is that school is not only a place to learn, it is a place to learn to be and you learn to be with others, especially with students. In SEK Schools We believe that students are the protagonists of their own learning and that in order to continue improving our educational model we must promote spaces for reflection and listening to their proposals and opinions. For all this, we are grateful for the opportunity that Fnac has given us with this initiative “, says Iván Martínez, Deputy Director of Learning at SEK-Ciudalcampo.
The importance of cultural support outside of school
Finally, Fnac wanted to know how boys and girls perceive having access to other cultural and educational activities that complement their learning and knowledge. To do this, Silvia de la Cruz, responsible for children’s books in Callao, has been chatting with students from SEK international schools, who have transferred their interests: attending scientific meetings, exhibitions, book signings. And they would like the Fnac spaces to have “themed rooms, organize events such as a mini Comic Con and make guided tours, ask us our tastes to choose films or firms and the most voted come or screen, and interactive activities will be carried out with a card in the one that you put what you like and they will recommend other things “.