Here's a great article about the future of education in the 21st century that mentions two of my favorite authors: Ken Robinson and Malcolm Gladwell.

The article begins with one simple premise...
Schools are built for, and in the image of, the industrial revolution Schools are not only built for an industrial revolution past but also in its image - my first ever teaching placement in the most deprived area of Scotland was marked by every period of learning being 53 minutes long, something more like a chicken processing plant's shifts than a stimulating learning environment, with students batched by age and subject to standardised tests for quality before shipping to the real world. Conformity has thus always had a higher value than diversity. Disciplines on offer are subject to a hierarchy (maths and native language, followed by the sciences with music and the arts chasing the coattails).
The article goes to say that schools need to foster creativity and develop entrepreneurial skills in students for them to succeed in the future.

Views: 21

Comment by Tom Welch on February 15, 2009 at 9:45am
I agree with the premises as stated. Schools are a relic of another age. 'd take it a step farther and say that we need to be thinking about creating systems for each individual student to learn at the highest levels, not trying to figure out how to "reform" schools. That's a dead horse that I helped beat for about 20 years. Offering educators school reform plans is like offering someone today an IBM Selectric typewriter. Yeah, it's better than a traditional typewriter, but who would use one of those?
I'm halfway through Gladwell's book Outliers and you can imagine what sorts of ideas he is bringing to mind. I am now trying to find hard data to see if there is a correlation between birth month, school entry cutoffs and high school dropout rates.
Currently hard at work on a project to begin easing the transition away from school systems to learning systems.
Comment by Patrick Stansberry on February 15, 2009 at 3:03pm
Teachers will need to become learners and leaders and not managers. Standards can't become checklists of what students must learn, but rather goals of where students get to.


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