Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Educating for the Unknown

In a world of politics and politicians that constantly tell us that our educational systems are failing, preach measurement and reporting over learning, and seemingly seek to keep us in the box while complaining that the box is insufficient, how do we prepare our students for the unknown? They can find many answers on the Web, yet our curricula often focus on getting the right answers. What type of learning is essential for our students in 2012 and beyond? David Perkins says that we must be "thoughtful in feeling ahead" as to what our children might need. We must consider the lifeworthiness of content. I agree.

Five Minds

This morning at FoL, Howard Gardner discussed the Five Minds of the Future, which is also the title of a book he wrote. The five minds include the: ethical, creative, synthesizing, disciplined, and respectful minds. The essence of Howard's talk for me, having also read the book, is that the minds intersect--you can't be creative or synthesize without deep understanding (discipline); without respect, ethics are superficial; you can't be or practice any of these minds without awareness and intent. No matter how complex the world gets, no matter how many people inhabit it or how much technology we encounter, humans make, conceive, and perceive "reality." If our world is to be excellent, ethical, and engaging, we as citizens of the world must intentionally practice these dispositions.

Educator's Commons

Educational institutions can create a commons where students, teachers, staff, and others can discuss ethical issues. "Why did unethical behavior occur?" Gardner.

Future of Learning

I'm attending the Future of Learning Conference at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. I'm so very fortunate to be here, expanding my learning with people from all over the world.