Time Travel, Worm Holes and Future Schools Today

Sean Bellamy, Founder Sand's School, UK

I’ve been playing with this idea that the way we can change schools is to first accept that they are trying to solve historical problems, problems that policy makers identified often decades previously, and the education system by nature of its size and structure is slow to evolve or change.

Schools are rarely agile enough ‘en masse’ to change quickly. And if they are in fact changing in response to present need, by which we actually mean, past need, then we are always in a time warp imagining yesterday’s schools.

We are still advocating for the introduction of 21st century life skills when we are 20 years into the 21st century. You see, a time warp. A wormhole into yesterday.

Sounds illogical, maybe.

What if
We tried a thinking exercise
And imagined a school in 2050.

A ‘school without walls or borders’ a school 30 years from now. Not a version of a 2020 school, which is in fact a great school for 2001! But a school for 2050.

Visualize it.
Describe it.
Design it.
Explain it.
Draw it.

And then explore how that influences the way in which we might begin to educate for tomorrow.

But the real deal is

Imagining the 2050 school

AND THEN behaving now and teaching now as if one is in that 2050 school already.

Could this act as an antidote to the inertia within the system?

Maybe this is part of the possibility created by the UNESCO event?

I don’t think anyone has verbalized the power of,
not just planning to teach in a 2050 school by the year 2050,


Actually behaving as if one is already working within that school.

And then,
sharing stories of the events of the day,
Exploring the way teaching feels,
The children behave,
The architecture looks

The content of the curriculum 

And was left asking myself,
What happens when you change the temporal parameters?
What if you are brave enough to time travel into 2050?
Use the vision and intention of the future to leapfrog into 2030, 2040 and then to 2050.
Intention is pretty powerful neurologically.

If we rehearse within the body and mind the thing we are about to do.
As if you are already there.
Before you move the body to start the journey.
Before you pick up the pen or sword.

I think…

That we created Sands in this way. 

We designed it as if it was in a more beautiful future. And then got on with living in that future.

We just behaved the way we assumed it was going to be. 

A future in which children are heard and in which equality and respect is offered to all.
Where choice, risk, play, nature, empathy and relationship matter.

Maybe that’s what we did.

So maybe, being in the future that we want to arrive at, is a way to allow intention to shape our present lives, overcome the cumbersome bureaucracy and find the ability and imagination to create 2050 schools sooner.

Time travel, worm holes and future schools today.

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