Recently I read an article from District Administrator magazine entitled,
“The Three New Pillars of 21st Century Learning” What happens when our basic assumptions about schooling no longer apply?
and it began:
The textbook, The lecturer and the classroom are three pillars of modern-day schooling that date back hundreds of years. Each was invented to solve a problem. The textbook was invented because information was scarce, the lecturer because teachers were few and the classroom because learning was local. These enduring icons persist into the Internet age, shaping our view of learning and driving the popularity of their digital grandchildren, things like iPad “textbooks” and the Kahn Academy “lectures.”
We’re getting ready to do our annual Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction (CAI) Institute in my county (Albemarle, VA), and one piece of it is to look back over the lat 9 years of it, since this one will be our 10th! The plan is to think about “The Past, the Present and the Future” of our CAI Institutes as we look at how we can help our students prepare for their future, exploring and defining what that means. Recently, Becky Fisher and I were talking and brainstorming about this work and potential ways to highlight various artifacts, and we came up with one dichotomy that I think fits with the first paragraph of the article I read. In our 100-year-ago one room school houses, students researched (mostly through reading or being given it orally by the teacher) and they showed what they had learned through recitation, so the model was research and recite. Then as the Internet and powerpoint came in, students began to research and present. A later model for researching is to research and do- become a producer, not just a consumer–share your knowledge, but also do something about it, make a difference! One pretty obvious parallel between the three is that the student moves from being mostly inactive to being highly engaged and active in order to do something that will make a difference in our world.
The author of “The Three New Pillars” also said, “In the 21st Century, the Internet has ushered in an online learning environment where information is abundant, teachers are plentiful and learning is global.”
In looking at the dichotomy Becky and I came up with,
Past: research and recite
Present: research and present
Future: research and do
Do you have others??
So, think of the role of the teacher—
Past: Sage on the Stage
Present: Guide on the Side (although we still have a lot of the sages in practice)
Future: More Experienced Learning Peer Who is Near? (emphasis here on the learning, not teaching)
Resource for the Course?
If you were looking at helping folks see differences and growth from past education models to future ones, what are the dichotomies you see and would want others to understand? How can we make the need changes explicit to folks who really don’t see a need for schooling to be different?