Scuttled 2

For anyone used to more practical thoughts about learning, sorry about the recent lapses into bird's eye perspective. Scuttled brought out what some might consider surprising questions. Others might be thinking this whole scuttling business is going a bit far. There could seem to be a number of holes in the thought process. For example, if masses of people start homeschooling, what will all of the teachers do? And will all of those large school facilities go to waste?

Really, what would it all look like. . . And wouldn't it leave a rather ominous gap in the economy?

First of all, remember this is all mostly hypothetical, so don't expect a great deal of detail. Part of the answer could come from a bit in the past.

When I was a teenager, our town had an old high school that had been decommissioned due to size limitations. We took part in a community band there. Our mixed group of old hands and upstarts played from second-hand sheet music. I also took part in other activities like drawing classes. You see, the building had been converted into a community center and was used for multiple purposes. This may be part of the answer to a lot of challenges. And like for me, an entry (or maybe re-entry) point into community membership.

If a mass of people were to move to homeschooling, the human and material resources which had been previously dedicated to mass education could be re-positioned accordingly. Part of the greatness of it all is that those resources could be utilized to diversify the learning landscape and open it up to the population at large. This is especially poignant, as changing career markets are necessitating more learning in older age groups.

Additionally, new forms of learning organizations have been evolving. In the last decade, there has been a growing movement of makerspaces. In a more recent time-period, an outgrowth of micro-schools.

So as larger numbers of people become involved in home learning and leave space in mass education schools, the large buildings morph into multiple-use spaces. Until reaching a point of retirement, they serve to host high investment and resource hungry activities which are better shared among the greater community, perhaps offering entrepreneurial opportunities. During that process, a solid direction for the future is carefully considered.

Micro-schools can operate in sections of the buildings, serving families for whom home learning is not an option or choice. Existing media centers and sports facilities, especially swimming pools, can remain dedicated to community reference, health and sports training. Makerspaces have opportunity for reasonable housing in the central learning hubs. Homeschool cooperatives have spaces available for regular and/or large group activities. And home learning parents have a learning dojo where (former mass education) teacher-parent partnership meetings can be held.

This kind of model naturally loans itself as an answer to potential career issues for educators. With additional training, some teachers shift into micro-school administration and teaching. Information media, health and sports related educators work in running the existing facilities and training.

For the remainder, things might not be so clear cut, but would offer no less opportunity. Here, positions would be open for mentors in parent-teacher partnerships, homeschool cooperative facilitators and staff, makerspace staff, advisers of many types, mentors for vocational direction and training, and even online learning staff.

The need to accommodate homeschooling is significant, if not inevitable. And the potential in home learning to offer sustainability cannot be ignored. Even with those things aside, our society needs to face learning and diversify our learning environment in a way that is accessible to everyone. The ideas offered here are an imagining of how the transformation could get started. They are also a vision of how home learning could be bestowed with the respect and support it should be receiving. As this model would continue to utilize operational facilities, it would be a transitional phase, hopefully leading to a future golden age of learning

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