Monday, April 18, 2011

Changing Education Paradigms

I've been asking a lot of questions about learning lately. This has led to my own crackpot theories and reflections on research studies.

Learning inevitably leads to the lightening rod issue of education.

Much of the dissonance in this discussion is the result of ambiguous definitions on a foundational level of what it even means to learn. That's leaves us a long way from general consensus on how learning occurs and why it's important for our society - and yet we argue endlessly about how the education system should work and how to test it's effectiveness.

I can't help but return to an animated video that I saw last year.

Sir Ken Robinson first sets the stage, by making sense of how our modern education system assumed it's current form. He continues to with some very provocative (in its presentation and it's ideas) critiques on why we need to, and suggestions on how we can, move forward:

I was pleased to see there is a whole series of these video up now, furnished to all netizens by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce...
"...a cradle of enlightenment thinking and a force for social progress.  Our approach is multi-disciplinary, politically independent and combines cutting edge research and policy development with practical action. " (
This is one organization from across the pond I will be following quite closely, might even rival Top Gear.

1 comment:

Anna said...

I thoroughly agree with the movie. I don't think you need a definition of the word learning, either; most people's understanding of the word is intuitive, so a particular definition is not going to be convincing, I would think. Comparing models of thinking, on the other hand, is highly likely to be convincing. Comparing education to the factory model shows something because it does actually match features of people's experience of education. Having an alternative model (by showing what works "in the world" - like working in groups, different age groups, etc.) can also help people see the difference between where we are and where we should be, educationally speaking.