George Siemens asks in his blog:
1. Does education need to change?
2. Why or why not?
3. If it should change, what should it become? How should education (k-12, higher, or corporate) look like in the future?
I can’t resist not answering. 1. ABSOLUTELY! Let me count the ways…
K12 Education is broken in so many ways. We’re not engaging our students in why this is important, we’re not giving them problems to solve that resemble the ones that they’ll face outside, we’re focusing on the wrong skills, we don’t value teachers, we’ve crumbling infrastructure, we’ve beggared the budgets, the list goes on.
We need new curricula and new pedagogy at least. We should be focusing on 21st century skills (not knowledge): systems thinking, design, problem-solving, research, learning to learn, multimedia literacy, teamwork and leadership, ethics, etc; my wisdom curriculum. We need pedagogies that engage, spiral the learning around meaningful tasks, that develop multiple skills.
We need this at K12, at higher education, and in the workplace. We need technology skills infused into the curriculum as tools, not as ends in themselves. We need teachers capable of managing these learning experiences, parents engaged in the process and outcomes, and administrations educational and political that ‘get’ this. We need learners who can successfully segue into taking control of their learning and destiny.
Yes, a tall order. But if we don’t, we basically are hobbling our best chances for a better world. Look, the only way to have functioning societies is to have an educated populace, because you just can’t trust governments to do well in lieu of scrutiny. So, let’s get it started!