What a meteoric evolution education has had in less than a century! In the 1940s, there were some 4,000 schoolhouses in Quebec. Today, new technologies such as tablets and interactive whiteboards have invaded classrooms, not to mention the possibility of learning remotely! What are the greatest transformations that have left their mark on education and continuing education since the end of the Second World War?

Collage of a Canadian Queen Stamp from 1950 alongside a picture of a class in 1950

1950 : At that time, educational posters, like geographical maps and the periodic table, were a decoration staple in classrooms, and the smell of chalk hung in the air. The walls were otherwise unadorned in order to avoid as much as possible any distractions that could interfere with the students’ focus. However, during this decade, the educational model started to shift. Until then, students had to adapt to the school’s way of doing things, but it was then that the relationship reversed. It became understood that educators needed to pay attention to each student’s needs to foster their development. Student individuality was beginning to be recognized, and this showed in school furniture as desks in rows gave way to single desks.

Collage of a Canadian Queen Stamp from 1960 alongside a picture of the Rapport Parent

1960 : The Quiet Revolution brought enormous change to Quebec! For education, it’s the Parent Report that made the difference. Its main goal was to democratize school and higher education. The Ministère de l’Éducation was founded, and its mission was to establish high schools and CEGEPs and expand the network of the Université du Québec across the province . That’s a far cry from schoolhouses!

Collage of a Canadian Queen Stamp from 1970 alongside a picture of class in 1970 in Quebec

1970 : In addressing student dropout, the government sought to provide a stimulating learning environment that would motivate students to learn. Already present in the workplace, the concept of ergonomics made its way to schools and introduced movable chairs, which are lighter and more flexible, because comfort positively affects focus and motivation. The desks also took on an irregular shape, so classrooms could be set up differently depending on the activity. This way, teamwork and autonomy were fostered, two skills that would be especially useful in the job market.

Collage of a Canadian Queen Stamp from 1980 alongside a picture of an IBM computer

1980 : In 1981, IBM introduced the Personal Computer (PC)! The computer turned into an increasingly important work tool. It made its way into homes, and schools started preparing for its arrival. The launch of multimedia CD-ROMs precipitated a greater use of the personal computer. Among other things, CD-ROMs helped people learn different software on their own, where and when it suited them. It made it possible to rethink continuing education. It was no longer necessary to travel to update your skills and knowledge. Digital technology allowed for greater flexibility in training.

Collage of a Canadian Queen Stamp from 1990 alongside a screen capture of a web browser in 1995


Collage of a Canadian Queen Stamp from 2000 alongside a picture of an older computer using Windows XP

2000 : The internet’s arrival opened up a world of possibility! In the education industry, learning management systems (LMS) made it possible to complete online courses from one’s own computer. It then led to the development of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), which aimed to provide high-quality education, often for free and in a collaborative format. This way, no matter where we were in the world, we could improve our knowledge! Provided we had an internet connection, that is. The professional community also benefitted from this fantastic innovation. It was a formula for accessibility that was both efficient and affordable.

Collage of a Canadian Queen Stamp from 2010 alongside a picture of a woman at the office using a standing desk and an exercice ball for better ergonomy

2010 : Well-being and mental health concepts became an increasingly important part of our value system and changed how we learn. Flexible classroom designs made their way into Quebec schools. Why? To improve student comfort and improve focus. Not everyone performs the same under the same conditions, so it’s important that different options be available for everyone to reach their full potential. We see the same trend in the workplace with more adaptable office spaces (possibility to work standing up, on an exercise ball, etc.) and flexible working hours.

Collage of Canadian's Queen Stamps from 2022 alongside a picture of kids on computers in a classroom and a man learning via a VR headset

2020 : What lies ahead for this decade that was catapulted into remote learning and working? More than ever, digital technology is an integral part of how we learn, but to be able to navigate this online world and face the challenges it presents, new skills are needed. That’s why we’re seeing so many programming classes for every age group and in every field. It’s imperative that we understand the inner workings of the tools we use every day and that are central to our work. Including programming courses in school curricula or learning a computer language on one’s own through e-learning are but two of the ways to accomplish this.

It’s clear that, in the last 70 years, the world of education has changed significantly! Far from the austere classrooms of yesteryear, where religion made up most of the curriculum, today’s classrooms are flexible, stimulating and high-tech. Adult education also evolved in this direction. Online and customized trainings are now must-haves. Novaconcept was able to adapt and make the most of all these innovations. We’ve come a long way from our CD-ROM trainings to our recent projects where we use 360⁰ visuals and augmented reality! How far can we take your training projects?

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