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Bid4Papers Worldwide Essay Contest Searth S. Cabal
Education In 50 Years: A Futurist’s Perspective February 2015
1
A Schoo...
Bid4Papers Worldwide Essay Contest Searth S. Cabal
Education In 50 Years: A Futurist’s Perspective February 2015
2
“Jake i...
Bid4Papers Worldwide Essay Contest Searth S. Cabal
Education In 50 Years: A Futurist’s Perspective February 2015
3
The pun...
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A School of Humanity

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Bid4Papers Worldwide Essay Contest - Searth S. Cabal,
"Education In 50 Years: A Futurist’s Perspective"

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A School of Humanity

  1. 1. Bid4Papers Worldwide Essay Contest Searth S. Cabal Education In 50 Years: A Futurist’s Perspective February 2015 1 A School of Humanity Education is a repetition of civilization in little. Herbert Spencer, 1891 It is thus proven,” Septimus concluded, “that the outermost ethereal sphere, the one containing those many stars, lies at a distance of 20.000 times the Earth’s radius. This is just beyond the sphere of Saturn, the last planet in the universe. See?” He pointed his stick down in the large sand pit, where he had drawn the nestled circles of the planetary orbs and their epicycles. A central blue marble represented the Earth. Saturn was a black marble. One of the twelve pupils, her toga a bit loose, raised her hand. “Master, are they all the same size? The planets?” “An excellent question! Ptolemy doesn’t decisively solve it. It doesn’t matter for the model. But how could we learn the planets’ sizes? I think Mercury must be smaller than Jupiter. After all, he’s only the messenger of the king of the gods. Do you agree? Any thoughts?” Septimus waited. A few pupils were filling out the blanks in their notes. Then a boy said: “I think we should work it out like Ptolemy. Using calculus.” “And with these good words by Jake,” the master smiled, “let’s call it a day.” The world faded. The bright Mediterranean sky, the pillars about the academy’s courtyard, the noises from the city – the name of Odoacer, proclaimed king of Italy by his troops, was on everyone’s lips – gave way to the sixth graders’ classroom. While they took off their headsets, Septimus put down his own. He felt like Spence again. It was time for a wrap-up. “All right, my disciples! Let’s have a break. Five minutes!” They all started chatting. Two girls did cartwheels around the benches arranged in a circle. Some children compared their notes, their ancient styli and wax tablets turned into stylus pens and virtual tablets. Spence focused on his own master screen. The 3D trainer appeared. “A good session, master Spence,” the crystalline voice said. “I’m pleased with myself too,” he joked. “Pull up the big picture, will you?” The screen displayed the panels of each of the twelve students. As an S.E. teacher, Spence fully appreciated the value of that number: twelve allowed for teams of 2, 3, 4, 6, or 5 + 2 to be formed. This made a wide range of games and exercises available. Throughout the grades, Strategic Education was a pet subject of many. He delighted in making sure of that. But right now, he was replacing the teacher in Natural Sciences who had called in sick. He had passed the enabling certificate just last year. Now, not only could he teach his subject area, S.E., across all seven eras from the Antiquity up to the Information Age; he could also teach Natural Sciences from the Antiquity up to the Middle Ages. He was studying the certificate for teaching it until the Enlightenment. He loved science. That was not everyone’s case. Spence saw that the marks of nine students were above 70% in the NS subject area – earned either through homework, participation, or bonus challenges tailored for each by their virtual companion. Two others tied at 61%. But one had only 36%. He zoomed in on his notes. He had scribbled stick figures and something about Odoacer. “
  2. 2. Bid4Papers Worldwide Essay Contest Searth S. Cabal Education In 50 Years: A Futurist’s Perspective February 2015 2 “Jake is lagging behind on the Ptolemaic model,” the 3D trainer commented. “I will offer him additional reading. An hour of private tutoring may also be advisable.” “All right for material, but tutoring is premature. And give him ten extra points! He may be too fond of officer Odoacer’s plot, but you heard him. He’s got the idea of science dead-on.” The trainer complied. Jake’s average in Natural Sciences rose to 40%. “Very well, everybody. Let’s get together.” They sat down on the benches. Spence stood in the middle and asked if they had liked that session in the simulation. He encouraged them to come out with any questions or comments. The discussion quickly shifted to a comparison with space age knowledge. “What’d master Septimus say if we told him we have colonized the Moon in 2065?” “He’d say, nonsense!” Spence laughed. “We can’t travel to the Moon. Stop reading Lucian of Samosata. Who remembers Lucian’s True Story? From last year in elementary school?” Most of them did. Under the subject of Language, stories and myths were an important part of primary education. That, and the compared development of writing systems across cultures. Suddenly, Spence recalled that he had to point out some Chinese and Mesoamerican views on astronomy in the 5th century. It seemed a bit much. He decided to leave it to the next session. “But master, how will we find out that the planets’ orbits are in fact ellipses?” “Aha! You’ll learn about that in your freshman year.” “We’ll take a thousand years to realize it?” the pupil gasped. Spence nodded, smiling. His question – hers, he mentally corrected: like a month ago, Lee was feeling female. She had adjusted her ID with a finger tap that morning. Spence respected the nuance, though he found it hard to relate: he himself was genderless. Her question showed that through all sorts of channels, they would always get ahead of the program. That was great, of course, as long as they remained in-character of the time period while in the simulation. After all, the whole purpose was for them to acquire knowledge as a process. “Let’s peek into the future, shall we?” Spence tapped his tablet. A cylindrical hologram appeared about him. It gave all the pupils in the circle a good view on what was showing. The 7-year curriculum hovered on display. Sixth Grade Classical Antiquity 776 BCE – 476 CE Seventh Grade Early Middle Ages 476 – 1000 Eighth Grade High and Late Middle Ages 1000 – 1492 Ninth – Freshman Grade Early Modern Period 1492 – 1650 Tenth – Sophomore Grade Age of Enlightenment 1650 – 1789 Eleventh – Junior Grade Modern Period 1789 – 1939 Twelfth – Senior Grade Information Age 1939 – 2065 “The Antiquity is ending,” Spence exposed. “You’ll be entering the Middle Ages next year. Now, I know that the seventh graders have been teasing you. Remember, an era’s name is a convention. You won’t leap into the Dark Ages. You won’t get whipped!” They giggled. He continued. “Instead, exciting stuff awaits. Speaking of the Middle Ages, I can toot my own horn, right? In S.E., we’ll explore other trade routes. We’ll study innovative siege and defense techniques.”
  3. 3. Bid4Papers Worldwide Essay Contest Searth S. Cabal Education In 50 Years: A Futurist’s Perspective February 2015 3 The pun was lost on them. But Jake’s face lit up at the statement. “In P.E., you’ll learn new crafts and get more sports options, like archery. For Math, you’ll turn to the Islamic world. In Sciences, you’ll dabble in alchemy. Try to discover that elixir of immortality that our good Yellow Emperor, Qin Shi Huang, wanted so badly in 200 BCE! In Music, religious song will be all the rage. Oh, and in Language… It’ll be fun.” He made the holographic board vanish. They were exhilarated. A pupil raised her hand. “¿Señor?” Spence sí’d right away. She could see on his profile that he knew Spanish, and was taking the opportunity to boost her mark in her Second Language. Not everyone studied Spanish, so the 3D trainer translated what was being said on the non-speakers’ tablets in real time. It also analyzed the pupil’s speech: her virtual companion prepared remarks for her to review later. “Dad believes we see bad things in the Middle Ages. Like torture and magic.” “Bad things happened at all times,” he replied. “The simulation is meant to study the eras, never to upset you. It’s different, as a fiction movie is from an all-audience documentary. The sim is like a documentary where you can step in and act. Everybody, remind your parents of next week’s info session! The transition from Antiquity to Middle Ages is a big one.” The lunchtime bell rang. Spence cheerfully dismissed the class. The children ran out to the dining hall. He himself planned to eat a sandwich, in his office or in the teachers’ lounge. “Your next class is at 2 p.m. Strategic Education, Junior Grade, room 11-D.” With a nod at the 3D trainer, he put his screen on standby. As he walked out, he reflected. Junior Grade! He taught most of his classes at such levels, the 16 to 18 year olds. It was more amusing. By then, the pupils could deliberately focus on certain subject areas. Thanks to their virtual companion’s tailor-made tutoring, it was possible while keeping cohesive classes of 12, with roughly 600 simulation hours and 300 real-life hours per year. The Juniors were through with European diplomacy, economy and warfare on the verge of World War II. So Spence set his mind on a last trip to L.A. It would please his mathematical colleagues, who always loved it when he had his students juggle with probabilities, ratios and percentages. Not to mention the “interpersonal skills” the school board was so fond of! And to think some called poker a gangster game.

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