What do we mean by a
Pop Up School?

We've been thinking about the future of schools and education. We've been wondering whether we'll always be constructing huge buildings called schools or whether the internet and lack of public money combined may lead to other kinds of learning places. Pop Up arts events are all the rage this year. We've seen examples of Pop Up Dance performances, Pop Up Radio shows and Pop Up Architecture. At Thomas Tallis School we've even created our own Pop Up Gallery which doubles up as a Pop Up Classroom. So why not Pop Up Schools?

The internet has enabled us all to learn anytime, anywhere (as long as we can get online). How long will it be before schools are more like events than buildings? We decided that we would try to create a #popupschool at the Creativity World Forum. We have gathered together students from the UK and USA to collaborate on creating, running, managing and, most importantly, leading the #popupschool in collaboration with the conference delegates. Our aim is to create a variety of challenges together over the two days and to publish what we have learned together on this website.

We think that there ought to be a less distinct line separating students and teachers. We should all be learners after all. Perhaps the word teacher should be changed to professional learner? If we can learn on our own, at home, online, any time of the day or night, why would we choose to come into school? We're not against schools. We all attend great schools. But we wonder whether schools are always the best places to learn something. Shouldn't young people be given credit for all the things they learn and the skills they acquire outside school? Why are they not part of our assessments in school?

Short term, goal-focused activities are exciting, stimulating and responsive to changing circumstances. Perhaps schools should re-think the way they organise learning and teaching to make the experience more immersive and relevant to the world beyond the school gates. Would better partnerships with industry and the local community help? We think so. Learners need real audiences for their work and the appreciation of their peers. The internet provides us with the means to reach out and connect with other young people across the planet.

It's time for a #popup revolution!
Think, Act, Share, Create