How Education Must Change When Learning and Information Are Everywhere
This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.
A new generation of highly wired and interconnected kids are crafting - even demanding - a new and different narrative around learning, creating a movement that challenges the fundamental premises of what we call “school." In this new story, real learning happens anytime, anywhere, with anyone we like, not just with a teacher and some age-grouped peers in a classroom from September to June. More importantly, it happens around the things that we learners choose to learn, not what someone else tells us to learn. How can schools adjust? Or students? Or parents? In this provocative read, respected education writer Will Richardson offers a bold plan for rethinking how we teach our kids, and the consequences if we don't.
We all know the conversation needs to be had. This is a great starter for it!
I've read lots of "school needs to improve" books over the last decade or so. What happens is that they get bogged down in repeating the same problem with different verbiage over and over. It gets old and boring and I quit reading. Will went the right track with this text. He nails the issues at hand, offers a little commentary, and moves on. This is a quick, but insightful read for any person interested in making positive, proactive changes in their schools and classrooms. Keep in mind what you want for your own child as you read throughout. One of my favorite passages from the book:
"What doesn’t work any longer is our education system’s stubborn focus on delivering a curriculum that’s growing increasingly irrelevant to today’s kids, the outmoded standardized assessments we use in an attempt to measure our success, and the command-and-control thinking that is wielded over the entire process. All of that must be rethought."
I would postulate that the group who contends "if it was good enough for me when I was in school, then it's good enough for these kids" are the group causing all of the drop out issues we are facing today. The quote above describes the Industrial Revolution education systems that are still in use today in far too many places. It is that mindless, fact regurgitation system that bores kids and disconnects them from the love of learning new things they had as toddlers. Failure to adjust leads to failure to succeed.
Listening to politicians and big business has gotten us nowhere over the least several decades, unless you consider making the testing companies giant, rich automation factories. Take from this book and consider the part you can play in improving the education system. Quit letting others with their own special interests make the decisions for you.
This was one of the most influential books I have read in the past 20 years I have been in education. It is timely and I hope all educators start thinking this way or my kids and most others don't have a chance at competing for jobs that we don't even know about yet. Time for the factory model to retire.
Will hits the nail on the head with his perspectives on education. He recognizes the need for change, describes it well and suggests possible solutions in general and by using a few specifics. A great read for parents, educators, and especially administrators.