That’s a nice phrase. It may be a little redundant – doesn’t “innovate” mean to change at a fundamental level? Never mind, I’m borrowing the phrase as it serves to underscore the need for change, for substantial upheaval.
For as long as anyone can remember the educational world has been trying to reinvent itself. This is not a controversial statement, I think. There is an omni-present desire to “fix” the system [of traditional education]. At times this oscillates between “back to basics” and “new styles”, between “standards” and “whole person development”, between “stricter approaches” and “student-centered”. It is perfectly clear, and has been for decades, that something is wrong. Yet, yet…. the solutions look like they came from people stumbling in a dark room: stab in the dark ideas, random fads, short-sighted solutions. These are not fundamental reevaluations. These ideas are not examples of “innovate fundamentally”.
It’s time to innovate fundamentally. It’s time to ask the hard, big questions: what is education for? And then how do we get there?
I can almost guarantee that if we were just embarking on the effort of figuring out how to best educate our children today, with all that we now know, we’d end up with a very different system [let’s look at those details tomorrow].
The job of education, I think we’d decide, is to support “human flourishing”. To put that another way, you could say it is to “let each person become the best version of themselves possible”. What’s wrong with that? It aims at high standards, excellence, individual uniqueness. Geez, if that’s what people were getting out of schools today I don’t think we’d have the drop-out rates, stress-induced suicides and general attitude of schooling as a “necessary evil”.
This space, for those of you who’ve read through enough of it, is about creating fundamental educational innovation – that’s what it means to change the education conversation. more tomorrow.