Category Archives: Decoupling

The Second Decoupling is Near?


The Second Decoupling will occur when school and learning are in many ways divorced.

I’m really not sure when the Second Decoupling will occur, but one of its key features will be the new role and function of the teacher, especially human teachers who work in school buildings.

Michael Godsey, a teacher, penned an interesting piece in the Atlantic on the evolving role of his profession.

I think some of Michael’s predictions will be born out, while others probably will not.

From the article:

I describe what I think the public-school classroom will look like in 20 years, with a large, fantastic computer screen at the front, streaming one of the nation’s most engaging, informative lessons available on a particular topic. The “virtual class” will be introduced, guided, and curated by one of the country’s best teachers (a.k.a. a “super-teacher”), and it will include professionally produced footage of current events, relevant excerpts from powerful TedTalks, interactive games students can play against other students nationwide, and a formal assessment that the computer will immediately score and record.

Personally, I think we’re more likely to see one-to-one (personalized playlists) more than the streamed super teacher lecture, but who knows.

From the article:

…there will be a local teacher-facilitator (called a “tech”) to make sure that the equipment works and the students behave. Since the “tech” won’t require the extensive education and training of today’s teachers, the teacher’s union will fall apart, and that “tech” will earn about $15 an hour to facilitate a class of what could include over 50 students. This new progressive system will be justified and supported by the American public for several reasons: Each lesson will be among the most interesting and efficient lessons in the world; millions of dollars will be saved in reduced teacher salaries; the “techs” can specialize in classroom management; performance data will be standardized and immediately produced (and therefore “individualized”); and the country will finally achieve equity in its public school system. “So if you want to be a teacher,” I tell the college student, “you better be a super-teacher.”

I don’t think college students will need to become super teachers. My guess is that they will need to learn to co-instruct with technology. This will probably require skills in data analysis, coaching, leadership, and perhaps psychology. I could imagine therapy being a key function of the schools of the future.

From the article:

I’ve started recognizing a common thread to the latest trends in teaching. Flipped learning, blending learning, student-centered learning, project-based learning, and even self-organized learning—they all marginalize the teacher’s expertise. Or, to put it more euphemistically, they all transform the teacher into a more facilitative role.

I’d be a little more specific here: they marginalize the teacher’s content and delivery expertise. As I note above, other skills will become more valuable.

Anyways, there is much to consider about the Second Decoupling.

And that’s enough conjecture from me.

Back to work on the First Decoupling.