Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Revolutionizing Education-We're doing it!

Thanks to Lisa over at the Innovative Educator for sending on a link that talks about how the newest generation (Gen Z) will revolutionize education and the effects that will have on work in the future. 
Of course, unschoolers are already revolutionizing education. Whether the majority likes it or not, change is happening. Anyone with ears to hear and eyes to see can tell this. In fact, it should be that if you are not self directing your learning, you will be considered rather...deficient;- a little bit backward, if I may. 
John Seely Brown and Douglas Thomas speak of the world being "in flux,"and what learning for a world of constant change requires:
"Although learning about and learning to be worked well in a relatively stable world, in a world of constant flux, we need to embrace a theory of learning to become. Where most theories of learning see becoming as a transitional state toward becoming something, we want to suggest that the 21st century requires us to think of learning as a practice of becoming over and over again."
Becoming over and over again. Being nimble and flexible and open minded. If you think about the way emerging technologies are changing our lives daily, and how the internet and other social media are reshaping the way people learn it becomes obvious that school as usual is far behind the times.
The jobs public schools prepare youth for will have all but vanished by the time they have grown up.
The world of tomorrow will require a type of person who is able to think for him or herself, and is creative enough to adapt to the ever changing scene.
Kids don't need school. "Institutionalized wisdom tells us that children need school. But this institutionalized wisdom is the product of schools," Ivan Illich wrote in his famous book, Deschooling Society.
Illich, iconoclast, philosopher and social critic extraordinaire, dared to criticize our institutions, starting with education, of which "we have become addicted to as if to a drug."
So what do kids need? Take my daughter who is in grade 10 high school and is taking a media arts course. Between thirty students they have a grand total of five cameras. And this high school is considered a 'good' school. 
 I say that what kids need is access to resources: equipment, tools and of course people. We need to unlock the community's resources and put those who have the knowledge and skills in direct contact with those who don't.
In our community of Hamilton this is already happening. We have a tools lending library that has started up, we have a freeskool that offers classes that range from gardening and welding to Spanish and knitting. There is a neat place called Think Haus  which is a shared work space / social space and collective all about hacking, crafting, DIY and doing awesome stuff and where last week my daughter learned how to pick a lock and next week will learn how to build a robot.

We need more of these places and opportunities. Why not start something in your own community? It could be something as simple as offering to share a skill with other people. It's exciting to think of what sorts of partnerships will emerge.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Open source learning is another way of talking about this. check out John Taylor Gatto and also Don Tapscott is handy.

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