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Whitney Tankersley

March 23, 2006

Introduction to Instructional Technology

Education in the Year 2020

“Teachers have no idea how lucky they are these days! When I was teacher you

did everything yourself. If you wanted 20 copies of a worksheet you didn’t just send them

to the office to be copied by a secretary, you figured out a way to get 20 sheets to your

classroom yourself!” This passionate and blunt comment was made by my seventy-eight

year old grandmother, Margie Tankersley. Discussing the possibilities of education in the

future seemed only fitting to be dissected by my grandmother. My grandmother was a

teacher for twenty years and a librarian for fifteen years. She was the Georgia Teacher of

the Year and was loved dearly not only by her students, but also by those she worked

with. As her and I began to discuss what we believed education would be like in the

future, she continued to not only enlighten me but to show me how education has had its

ups and downs throughout history. Striving to obtain perfection has always been a goal of

the American public; however, as my grandmother pointed out, perfection is not

attainable. “I have always believed the resources that teachers have been provided with

have advanced considerably throughout the years. The internet has especially helped

teachers bring the world into their classrooms. However, I also believe people have

become consumed with results. They want perfection from every student. This is what I

fear the future of education rests on: perfection. Education is not about test results, it’s
about the children and their ability to understand the information being thrown at them.”

(Margie Tankersley). As my grandmother pointed out, the future of education seems to be

looming toward a more results based education. However, my grandmother also pointed

out that education in 2020 will also be even more stimulating for students based on the

advances in technology.

While deciding who I would interview for my report, I decided that I would

interview teachers since they are the ones absorbed with the ups and downs of the

education process. This led me not only to my grandmother, but also to my mother. My

mother, Cecilia Tankersley has been teaching since my sister and I began school. It was

not what she went to school for; however, she wanted to have the same hours as my sister

and I. While interviewing my mother, I discovered how similar her responses were to my

grandmothers. Their expectations for the future seemed to coincide significantly with a

fear of results based curriculum. “The future of education seems to be drifting toward

more results based curriculum. It almost seems that no one is concerned with what the

child learns but only with how well they perform on tests.” These similarities between my

grandmother and mother’s opinion illustrated to me how central results are becoming to

the curriculum. This focus on results almost seems to push away the importance of

learning and understanding.

Through interviewing my mother and grandmother I also began to form my own

opinions on the future of education. Although I agree with my mother and grandmother

that education is making a shift toward results based learning, I also believe the future of

education is in our control. Many of the trends dealing with education tend to repeat

themselves. From phonics to letter people, education constantly seems to be turning in

circles. I believe the future of education will be a repeat of something we have

abandoned, only to realize how detrimental it was to the curriculum, to only abandon it

later on. Along with the constantly rotating education trends, I also believe that

technological advances will open the world even wider to children. Children who have

never seen the ocean will be able to experience the sounds and smells through live

feedback on large projectors. Computers will offer even more opportunities for children

through research and will also be able to censor subjects that are hindering to children.

Through these technological advances, children will be able to experience education in a

new and exciting way.

The future of education is an exciting and daunting topic. While many view it

with groans and sighs of frustration, others view it as a time to grow and nurture our

curriculum into the very best it can be. The future of education will be filled with exciting

and new opportunities for our students if we begin to shape it into the curriculum we

desire for our students.