This is really hard to wrap one’s head around, or so I’m beginning to think.
When I talk about a “new education paradigm” people seem to think that I’m talking about something “different”. Sure, its different, but there’s “different” and then there’s DIFFERENT. Thinking of the necessary paradigm shift merely as “different” fails to capture its magnitude. This is not a call to “make some changes” to how we go about the business of education, this is about upsetting the apple cart.
Think of it this way: when Thomas Jefferson wrote that a government gets its power from the will of the people, he was presenting a new paradigm for government. Up until then governments were mostly monarchies- blood-line rulers who claimed the “divine right of kings”. Jefferson through this aside and asserted that the only legitimate government is one that the people have put in place and that its job is to serve the people- see? In this model the system has been turned the other way around (okay, that’s the theory, I get that we may have strayed a little but that’s besides the point for here). This is common today, but 250 years ago this was unthinkable. THAT’S a shift of paradigms. Jefferson didn’t merely make some changes to how the system worked, he introduced a new system from the ground up.
This is where we find ourselves today with education: we need to start from the ground up. This takes courage.
One more point with Jefferson’s work: the success (and beauty) of the new model – democracy – was not so much that it worked better (though it did), but that it was a model that followed from nature, from the nature of humanity. That people should govern themselves is “right” – it is aligned with universal/natural laws. We need to follow this approach for education and ask: “what does nature want when it comes to human education?”
When we ask this question we find that we are taken down a new road, one that diverges “in a yellow wood”, and we are well advised to take that road less traveled.
Tune in and I’ll show you what you can find there.