You can’t stop it. I found more about it. It’s true. Everyone’s talking about it. Okay, okay, MORE people are talking about it… but more and more (better?).
So my latest find is a British fellow who went looking for education innovation in Brazil and East Africa.
What’s his take? Like anyone talking about education reform, education evolution, revolution, innovation… he notes that “our education systems are failing desperately in many ways, they fail to reach the people they most need to serve, they often hit a target that missed the point” etc.
Our present, 19th century model, he goes on to say, while producing reading and some skills, “lays waste to imagination, appetite, social confidence…”. He speaks of radical reform.
So what’s to be found that is working? What creative innovation is taking place in the far reaches of the developing world that this fellow is championing? He talks about how schools need to “pull, not push”: that is, entice, attract… not push curriculum at students. He talks about question-based learning as opposed to a preset curriculum that is “delivered”… which leads him to more “games” over lessons… more “inquiry-based” learning as opposed to top-down “content delivery”.
These are wonderful ideas.
The point that is most poignant in his message is this: what we have today is not working. It’s failing. What we need, he says, is an approach that is “from the learner”, engages them by asking them to be part of the process rather than recipients.
Yes! Is all I can say. His ideas aren’t all great, and he misses some important aspects. But he captures some essential ones and his call is for something that is fundamentally innovative, not window dressing and which doesn’t amount to “rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic”. That’s worth our attention.
Now, if only he figured out that this has already been figured out.
You can hear him here: http://www.ted.com/talks/charles_leadbeater_on_education.html