Rip Van Winkle feels at home in our schools

Time magazine cover how to bring our schools out of the C20th century

Originally uploaded by tania.sheko

Here’s a dark little joke from an article featured in Time magazine in 2006 that may touch a sore spot in educators. The article is entitled How to bring our schools out of the C20th century.

Rip Van Winkle awakens in the 21st century after a hundred-year snooze and is, of course, utterly bewildered by what he sees. Men and women dash about, talking to small metal devices pinned to their ears. Young people sit at home on sofas, moving miniature athletes around on electronic screens. Older folk defy death and disability with metronomes in their chests and with hips made of metal and plastic. Airports, hospitals, shopping malls–every place Rip goes just baffles him. But when he finally walks into a schoolroom, the old man knows exactly where he is. “This is a school,” he declares. “We used to have these back in 1906. Only now the blackboards are green.”

For all our technological advances, our new ways of communicating, how much have our schools really changed?

2 thoughts on “Rip Van Winkle feels at home in our schools”

  1. What would Rip make of our interactive white boards??? Good points though. Many schools, and dare I say teachers, really haven’t kept up with it all.


  2. How many schools have interactive white boards? I was talking to my sister who teaches art in a Melbourne government school, and she said that it’s frustrating trying to even use the Internet with students at their school. Few computers, all dinosaurs, it often takes half an hour to get internet access. She says it’s often just a waste of time. A little bit more equality in schools, I say.

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