This article kicks off our series Education Reboot on innovating education, on who is blowing up the right boxes and why to recreate and reimagine a system of learning in the world to suit our 21st Century needs and abilities and beyond. To say that education is broken is like saying carbon hurts the planet a little bit. We know carbon is a killer, planetary and human, so the question becomes not whether carbon is bad, but how do we end carbon? In the case of education, it isn’t just broken, but totally bollixed, fu-barred, and in need of a reboot.
In the case of education – from birth to the grave – we know the U.S. and U.S. copied systems of education at every level are failing to create what we want them to create at every level and in every way. There are pockets of success within the old systems, where charter schools, Waldorf, and even certain public schools are showing they can rise above the dire straits of their financial or political woes and pull out amazing miracles.
But for the most part what is old school in this case, isn’t cool. We need new school DNA, so suggests Sir Ken Robinson, New York Times best selling author of ‘The Element’, TED speaker, and education and creativity expert. This video is also a superb example of multi-media and social media being used to the ends it was really created for. Think divergent.
In our series we’ll be asking the right questions to get to the right answers: the truthful question is not whether education is broken; the real question is how do we deliver what children and people are capable of learning, and must learn in our new, permanent state of ambiguity, complexity, volatility, and uncertainty?
It is not a partisan issue (though many try and make it one), and it is not a question of standards. Of course we want the very best outcomes for our kids, and these should be driven by standards. But standards of what and for what good ends – A’s? What is good? And what does a current A even mean translated into quality and meaningfulness for the world we live in?
Why on earth is it so damn hard to figure out that an A does not a fully self-actualized, 21st Century human being capable of harnessing technology and advanced critical thinking make?
One of our newest members of our community team, Stephanie Strong will be leading the pen charge for this series, and we’ll be gathering the insights and words of others as well – experts, regular people like you and us, and innovators and leaders who seem to be on to something. Did we mention think divergent?
Below Stephanie jumps us off by finding this great video by Sir Robinson and giving us her personal perspective…hope you stay tuned.
“In my personal experience education has been all about passing the test, and getting to the next level. While these are not necessarily bad ideals, the lack of focus on further personal development is, since it is absolutely necessary in today’s world. Besides being a very confusing thing to maneuver, especially in post-secondary education, one of the biggest criticisms about education is that the standards are over-generalized, that they don’t really go to what people and children really need to learn, when they’re ready to learn it.
While sitting in my daughter’s kindergarten orientation recently, I found it hard to focus entirely on what was being said about preparing her for kindergarten and started to look around and take-in all the things she would be learning over the next year. Judging from the posters on the wall and what was written on the whiteboard in the classroom I can safely assume that my daughter is ahead of the game. She has been working on most of these things for a little over a year now.
My biggest fear is that this may actually hinder her, that her advanced state will go against the grain of the system and she’ll lose as a result. I am worried that being in a classroom full of children at different learning abilities, and with different styles, she may be overlooked because she has met, or will meet quickly, the minimum requirements to move into 1st grade. Her abilities may not be fostered. Where is the way to account for her, or any unique child in our society, and to embrace and value what is unique and special about every human being in our educational system from birth to the grave?
Whatever your belief about education reform, it is a topic that goes beyond important: it is imperative, and so to begin that discussion I invite you to watch RSA brilliantly package a talk given by Sir Ken Robinson on what we need to do – really in education. It is a perfect platform to begin.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on what are the top 2 most important aspects of education we must change, your best advice for how to change, and what you plan to do to be part of that change”
Article by Tracy Saville & by Stephanie Strong
What others are saying today about education reform at The Center for Education Reform.