From time to time, there's a flurry of memorable postings or remarks about knowledge, education and contemporary culture …
Content is no longer the value point of education (it never really was...but we built our education models assuming this was the case).
David also noticed Kathy Sierra's 2 November blog post on Creating Passionate Users, Why does engineering/math/science education in the US suck?, and the image she uses there to help visualise her argument (we 'hear more and more teachers, experts, and employers railing against the sorry state of our advanced technical educations today … what do we do to try and improve things? We just do MORE of what's wrong. We redouble our efforts. We drill and test students even harder in facts and rote memorization … The Waterfall Model of education is failing like never before. We need Agile Learning'):
Add to this, David Weinberger:
… there will be a big demand for people who can help us find, understand and reuse information (or, as I like to think of it, create an infrastructure of meaning). We're going to need lots of help thinking through systems that will enable multiple orders to emerge from the behaviors of distributed groups.
When is a librarian not a librarian but a teacher? Is there a difference any more? And what kind of libraries do we need now?
Kathy Sierra winds up with a couple of quotations and a reflection of her own:
From Jason Fried:
"Hire curious people. Even if they don't have the exact skill set you want, curious, passionate people can learn anything."
And from Jacques Hadamard:
" Logic merely sanctions the conquests of the intuition."
If intuition is the heart of what true experts do, then shouldn't we be trying to teach that? Or at the least, stop stifling and dissing it? And yes, I do believe that we can teach and inspire all those fuzzy things including intuition and even curiosity.
I've also been taken by Henry Jenkins' Eight Traits of the New Media Landscape:
The Contemporary Media Landscape is: Innovative … Convergent … Everyday … Appropriative … Networked … Global … Generational … Unequal …
Of these eight traits, the only one which might describe our current educational institutions is "unequal." Otherwise, our schools have not kept pace with the changing environment around them. If we were to start from scratch and design an educational system to meet the needs of the culture we have just described, it would look very little like the current school system. Our schools doubly fail kids -- offering them neither the insights they need to avoid the risks nor the opportunity to exploit the potentials of this new participatory culture. Indeed, the skills kids need to function in the new media landscape are skills which are often read as dysfunctional and disruptive in the context of formal education. Kids are, for the most part, learning these skills on their own, outside of school, with the consequence that they are unevenly distributed across the population.
Finally, some links (partly via headshift's del.icio.us links) — useful for passing to colleagues interested in how we got here/where we're going:
- Stephen Downes on E-learning 2.0 (November, 2005)
- Solution Watch: Back to School with the Class of Web 2.0: Part 1, Back to School with the Class of Web 2.0: Part 2, Back to School with the Class of Web 2.0: Part 3
Such challenges. Education is a very exciting place to be right now.