Classroom Time Traveler

In an article, "The Well-Wired Classroom" by Doug Johnson at, he writes:

"A pundit once speculated that should a 19th century physician be transported to the present day, he or she would not recognize a modern operating room. A 19th century banker would not be able to function in today's bank. In fact, the writer observed, the only professionals whose working environment would have changed so little that they could begin working immediately would be public classroom teachers. The practices and technology of teaching have changed that little in the past couple hundred years."

I'd like to think we have changed and so has the technology, but if that time traveling teacher were to get in front of a classroom, use the textbook provided, write on the white/black/green board, lecture, ask questions, give writing assignments that students do on paper - would he look so out of place in 2006? I think in many schools & rooms, he would fit in just fine.

And is higher ed teaching any more or less changed than K12? Again, allowing for new subject matter (provide a textbook), my guess is that our time traveler could fit in easier in a college classroom than in K12.

Do you agree or disagree? I'd be very interested in your comments.


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