We have all heard about Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result. How would our schools stand up to this definition? Are we repeating out-dated pedagogy and expecting a different result?
Many would point to the myriad ways in which most schools still apply Industrial Age methods of instruction and say that these schools are practicing insanity. Other people would say that new methods are being tried every day, and that we are getting closer to finding an effective system for all.
I agree that innovations in education are everywhere—especially with the new opportunities that technology brings—but we are practicing insanity in some fundamental ways that are preventing us from achieving a model of education that prepares learners to thrive in the 21st century.
What today’s students really need is to know how to learn, unlearn and re-learn. Everything else is just details that are increasingly available online. Details used to be a valuable aspect of formal education because schools were the only place to store and disseminate them. The Internet has replaced encyclopedias but we are still so attached to details that we are blind to opportunities to revolutionize learning.
There are some very promising investigations underway in the worlds of gameful, project-based, and/or self-organizing learning environments. As these methods are being evaluated, however, there are some ways to produce dramatic shifts in academic success today for all students, in any school setting.
At the Learning Force we offer leading edge programs that take care of the basics --literacy, numeracy, and learning how to learn-- with fun, hands-on mastery-based programs so that today's students are fully prepared for today's global opportuntities.