Changing learning…

It really needs to change.

It should be obvious to most people that our education system was designed for an era that is long gone.

Much has been written and spoken on this topic.

I am more interested in making the change than talking about it.

What will follow in the next few posts are a small framework of what I have been practicing for the last few years. This can be implemented in any school, business, or organization with absolutely no additional funding.

Open Inquiry

Let people learn what they want to learn. I don’t understand why that is such a hard concept to understand. It produces far greater results than anything that could ever be prescribed. I have witnessed it first hand. And what is prescribed is a billionth of the knowledge that is being created at lightning speeds. Who can predict which things will be more important than others? They were terrible at it 150 years ago. Now: Impossible.

The lament that I always hear is: where is the rigor? It is so easy to keep the rigor.

Open inquiry is far more rigorous because we are asking them to go deep into what they want to learn. I have not seen too many teenagers interested in the fur trade of Canada. But they are enthusiastically interested in samurai swords for example.

People don’t know what they don’t know. That is where the teacher comes in. Through a personalized, co-constructed learning process, the learner is guided through what they want to personally know about the world using a series of questions and suggestions.

The other lament I hear is: how do we know that they have learned — what about assessment?

Assessment in most cases is just about as old school as it has ever been.

We need to base our assessment in competencies now, not courses. The pace is just too fast to package learning into courses any longer.

Instead of English class, learning should be assessed in the competency of Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening. This gives the learner total freedom to pursue their own endeavors.

A competency, by its very nature will never be completed. You can always get better at writing whereas a course ends. It is a truer reflection of our information flows that exist today as compared to the old model of information stocks.

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