How We Can Learn in the Future: New Organisation
Right now we have lots of discussions going on how learning and the role of the state are connected and what we need to fix with public education. I personally got the impression that a lot of this criticism is valid however only few suggestions for change are being made. So I want to make one.
Studies about learning show amazing successes among pupils and students who learn rather independently (experimental learning). Please, no more classic teaching, no more lecturing!
So what about the same for teachers and lecturers. Why not making them trainers and give them the responsibility to create their own sessions. They can do it, they have so much experience.
How can we ensure good quality of learning? Measuring learning in terms of remembered knowledge is too narrow. And we all know that most of the knowledge is useless. Instead, we should measure the application and analysis of knowledge. Learning how to learn (history, math, sports, music) and to use this knowledge is part of this, too (meta-learning).
For me, this all comes down to learning goals. With learning goals (instead of curriculums) you have the flexibility to not making it too specific and the opportunity of measuring its sucess. If a goal wasn’t reached, maybe we can improve the way of teaching or the goal was too far fetched.
Please don’t make the mistake to set too many goals. I think self-responsibility is the key. When you have your first year in school you should have a variety of learning goals. And a variety of things to explore and to experiment. Making mistakes is one part of this.
When you are growing older you should be able to choose (and reflect on) more self-responsibility in setting the learning goals. Trying out yoga or icehockey? No problem at all. What is already part of every good family (“boy, what do you want to do this summer?”) should become normal at schools and universities.
Setting goals to qualify for a job is one thing. Playing a vital role in democracy, arts and in local communities is another. Both aspects have to be considered in goalsetting.
Role of the Educator
The role of the educator switches from the classic teacher to the advisor and coach. This maybe hard for teachers. But if we (as teachers) really want to empower people and enable them to change the world, we should not tell them what we know but guide them along the way.
I am always fascinated by what people can learn and reach. Most of the time I realize (sometimes sooner, sometimes later) that it’s me the teacher standing in the way. Not the knowledge or the system. It is the teacher’s mindset, attitude and skill that needs to fundamentally change, too.
So why not starting today? Nobody holds us back.