The Future of Education– and Everything Else

5 04 2007

A cock of the snook to COD, for finding this cool collection of megatrend thinking from the DaVinci Institute.

Probably it won’t be news that our obstructionist “education” system — and its “eight driving forces” — rank at the top of this Dead System Walking list , and that it’s no short list.

So what are some examples of restrictive systems that are preventing us from doing great things? Here are just a few examples:

* Income Tax System – The income tax system is currently the mother of all boat anchors, slowing commerce and the pace of business to a crawl. Currently somewhere in the neighborhood of 64,000 pages in length, the United States tax code in use today will stand as a shining example throughout history as one of the world’s most incomprehensible systems.

* Half-Implemented Metric System – We are using a half-implemented metric system where we are purchasing cars with 3.2 liter engines and filling them with quarts of oil.

* Keyboards – We use keyboards that were designed to slow the speed of typing by placing the most frequently used keys randomly across the face of the keyboard. Keyboards in any configuration are an extremely inefficient way to transfer knowledge from one person to another.

* Laws – We now have more laws on the books in the United States than any country at any time in history. There aren’t even any good estimates as to the number of laws on the books in the United States. With each city, county, state, federal agency, and taxing district able to issue their own regulations, mandates, ordinances, rules, and law, we have created a legal snake pit of intertwined and overlapping rules that we are expected to live by.

Also there’s some provocative and much appreciated (by me at least) acknowledgment that one group’s truth is another group’s miseducation:

Further, we realized that virtually every aspect of society has its own version of truth – religious truths, scientific truths, legal truths, etc.

For this reason we concluded that any governing truth authority would quickly deteriorate into a highly politicized authority, and the politicalization of any aspect of this future learning system will quickly compromise its usefulness.

As an alternative, we are proposing a checks-and-balances system where individual groups can create their own central truth authority and place their tags of approval or disapproval on courses. These tags will be a central feature of the search criteria used by the smart profiler and the recommendation engine.

For example, organizations like the American Chemical Society, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Focus on the Family, American Civil Liberties Union, National Rifle Association, National Education Association, or the Catholic Church can all review the new courseware that is being introduced and make a determination as to whether or not it meets their criteria.

We think that such organizations will quickly gear up to develop their own line of courseware so they can have better control of the content.

This type of tagging system holds value on many levels. First, it creates ways for virtually everyone to participate, and in fact, demands participation. Participation is an essential ingredient in a truly pervasive education system. It allows the learning system to develop organically without any central gatekeepers telling people what they can and can’t learn.

It’s a big package but keep reading. You’ll even see “homeschoolers” mentioned specifically, as some of the earliest adopters and beneficiaries of transformed learning!

I think we may be hearing a *lot* more about this . . . might as well get crackin’ on it. 🙂



5 responses

5 04 2007

From the associated blog, reminds me of Bill Ellis and Learning Communities:

Posted on Thursday, April 05 @ 16:29:58 CDT Math 3

Mike Cote: “The education system of the future will undergo a transition from a heavy emphasis on teaching to a heavy emphasis on learning,” Frey wrote in “The Future of Education”, a paper he presented last week during a talk co-sponsored by the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business.

“Experts will create the courseware and the students will learn anytime or anywhere at a pace that is comfortable for them, learning about topics that they are interested in.”

12 04 2007
Nance Confer

I wonder what Marion Brady would have to say on this. I’ll have to send him a link and ask. 🙂

It’s nice to see someone looking at the same future my kids seem to be headed toward. . .


12 04 2007

Of course it’s all very Daniel Pink too, his Free Agent Nation and A Whole New Mind.

Hw writes about how we’ve entered the Conceptual Age and that transforms learning from “information is power” to a fuzzier, more human “understanding is power” — learning henceforth will be the six essentials of design, story, play, meaning, symphony and empathy.

(Unschoolers just came of Age ahead of the pack!)

13 04 2007
Nance Confer

Right. I did hear from Marion and his emphasis was beyond the ways information is transmitted and more about improving the ways learners process and organize the new information and overcome their own emotional and other barriers to accepting new info.

I’m just happy to see flexibility in thinking!


13 04 2007

HEY! What about creating some kind of blog tour (treasure/savenger hunt and/or progressive dinner of delectable education ideas) with Marion as our featured pirate chef?

(See the Teresa Heinz Kerry blog tour thread and the Sweet Waffle Kohn awards thread if this thought makes no sense to you.)

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