This has simply got to be one of the death-knells of traditional education. “Content delivery” is the idea that you go to school to be “taught” some “basic skills” by another person.
So long as the educational world holds this as its raison d’etre the problems of education will remain. We need to move well beyond the idea that delivering content is the goal or purpose of education. Does this sound so wrong? Does it make you ask, “but, what then would education be?”?
Education needs to be about process. It needs to be “orienting the learner to the process of learning”. Once you’ve achieved this you can relax, the job has been done. A learner who has learned what the process of self-development, exploration, inquiry and learning actually is, and how to go about it, doesn’t need you any more. If you want to talk about “building a nation of lifelong learners” that shouldn’t mean a nation of people who keep learning new content, it should mean a nation of people who’ve learner how to learn, on their own.
You can’t achieve this goal with traditional methods of course. Traditional methods are geared to the traditional model of delivering content: sit down, be quiet, comply, and remember. That does not engage. That does not create a culture of inquiry and exploration. Yet, without these there is no learning. Do not forget: remembering is not learning. Memorization is not meaning.
Maybe we need to march in front of traditional schools and district offices with placards that read “STOP CONTENT DELIVERY NOW” – who’ll make the bumper sticker, the lapel pin?
Let’s change the education conversation so that meaning-making via engaged explorative work becomes the norm in all schools. We want process, not content. The content will come on its own anyway.