I think we have education backwards ... don't you?

Let's take a second to think about how we learn best as human beings.   We naturally prefer learning via authentic, self-directed, customized, first-handed, curiosity-driven, trial and error approaches. [1]

So ... if we naturally prefer to learn this way, why has school been the complete opposite?

What if education was shifted  ...

  • from a focus on teaching ... to a focus on learning?
  • from knowledge ... to how to learn?
  • from teacher-centered ... to student-centered?
  • from an emphasis on what was taught ... to an emphasis on what students learned?
  • from assessing the ability to answer questions ... to assessing the ability to ask questions?
  • from coverage of content ... to demonstration of mastery?
  • from what students know ... to what students can do with what they know?
  • from a top down approach ... to a bottom up approach?
  • from power over ... to power with?
  • from resisting change ... to embracing change?
  • from teachers doing the teaching ... to students doing the teaching?
  • from standardized testing ... to authentic assessment?
  • from one size fits all ... to multiple size, shape, and color preferences for each?
  • from stand and deliver ... to inquiry and research?
  • from mandatory standards ... to authentic and customized standards?
  • from differentiated instruction ... to differentiated learning?
  • from data-driven ... to data informed?
  • from competition ... to collaboration, cooperation, and sharing what works?
  • from teaching the arts ... to arts integration?
  • from textbooks ... to researching free, primary documents on the web?
  • from the teacher as the audience, to the world as the audience?
  • from everything is forbidden unless it is permitted ... to everything is permitted unless it is forbidden? [2]
  • from "we know what's best" ... to "you know what's best"? [2]

What if students had the ability to learn about whatever they wanted, whenever and wherever they wanted, and to contribute to this learning environment for the benefit of others? [3]

Wouldn’t the possibilities for learning and teaching in this kind of education be both amazing and nearly limitless? If this type of education existed, wouldn’t we as educators and parents and policymakers do everything we could to help students and schools take full advantage of these learning opportunities? If we actually had access to this type of education, wouldn’t we be chomping at the bit to get everyone to shift to this type or learning? [3]

Oh wait ... we do have access to this type of education! So what are we waiting for?

I think we have education backwards ... don't you?

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  1. http://willrichardson.com/post/31918393655/schools-vs-abundance
  2. http://dangerouslyirrelevant.org/2012/07/the-3-ways-we-know-what-we-know.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+dangerouslyirrelevant+%28Dangerously+Irrelevant%29
  3. http://dangerouslyirrelevant.org/2011/03/what-if.html
  4. Cultural Shifts in a Profesional Learning Community. Learning by Doing. 2006, 2010. Solution Tree Press.