our recent post on interdependence has gone live on DMLCentral.
in it we encourage a redefinition of public ed.
click here to view the post: dmlcentral.net
So powerful … So much to understand, organize, consider, and – hopefully – contribute to. So far, a few thoughts:
1. I note the excellent overview of INTRINSIC MOTIVATION in the book, “Drive,” by Dan Pink, in which he documents the importance of intrinsic motivation to effective learning and in which he identifies the three elements of environments that stimulate that intrinsic motivation: AUTONOMY, MASTERY, AND PURPOSE. I see incredible overlap between your redefinition of public education and the view of education consisten with Pink’s thinking.
2. In terms of your redefinition, I honestly see agreement with the pedagogy of PBL. The rapid growth of New Tech Network affiliated schools lead me to believe there is tremendous value in both PBL and your thinking on interdependence.
3. Everyone should do themselves a favor and review the collections of quotations from Albert Einstein. So many are very aligned both with this redefinition and with PBL. One I was reacquainted with in just the past few days is this one: “I have no special talent. I am only PASSIONATELY CURIOUS (emphasis is mine). Again, there are many more …
thank you for the adding your thinking here John..
1. yes – drive is great. i also love the (carol) dweckian mindset.
2. pbl is cool as long as it’s not tagged w/the compulsory core – no? kids get the checklist – even if we do it for them. i think we’re fooling ourselves out of brilliance and doing what really matters to a kid (soul).
3. we have many greats to follow in this curiosity-led public ed – ie: feynman’s – the pleasure of finding things out, et al.
Thanks for the reply. One of the thoughts that has been occupying me has been that common core of knowledge and skills. Don’t “we” have to make sure all students have them if they are to be educated? My home state of Connecticut by law requires one-third of education be “general education” in order for degrees to be available. As I’ve explored education ever more deeply, I’m starting to identify more closely with your redefinition of public education. Instead of teachers facilitating a curriculum aligned with the standards, teachers should facilitate (more mentor, monitor, advise, and support) students control of their own education; done well, that facilitation will indeed be so interdisciplinary and rich in practice that those standards AND the important notion of a broad general education will be realized!
Have you and your colleagues in this development thought about Schools of Education? Are there models of appropriate preparation of teachers existing to adopt your redefinition currently? What would Schools of Education look like?
I commented on another Cooperative Catalyst posting related to the links between education and poverty that I believe this redefinition of public education is much better to addressing this issue than the current situation that is occurring in far too many schools.
well – the question begs to be addressed – what are the basics. right?
i’m thinking if we believe basics are essential, they should show up. and then – just in time learning (ie: roger schank’s work) leads to a much deeper and more human practice (dan coyle’s work), et al. and if it was our choosing, our whimsy, our passion that led us there, we will come up with a way to communicate/share. because we will believe that we can’t not. (now i’m thinking sugata mitra’s work – when he provided resources and left for 3 months)
i’d rather not go through a long list of what others think are basics for me (because despite what we keep saying, i’m believing that list continues to grow) – and instead – simply know what to do when i don’t know what to do. i’d rather be prepared for uncertainty. i’d rather know how to learn anything i wanted.
as to prepping teachers – if we redefine public ed to focus only on a process of learning to learn, and we use tech to help facilitate the chaos that would encourage, the only jobs we might lose are those of prep. we spend an awful lot of time prepping to present things on topics no one is asking questions to. so then – we have schools of education that spend quite a bit of time on classroom management.
the coolest part is that this is a fractal/narrative for everyone. teacher, student, parent, admin, rich, poor, me, you… we’ll start to realize connections are our gold, not any common core of knowledge. (now i’m thinking clay shirky – cognitive surplus)
i’m thinking we have no idea the change we will see when we unleash human capital/capabilities/spirit.
I’m in agreement with you at least for the most part. Interestingly, three things I share with anyone who might listen: (1) The only thing that’s certain is uncertainty! (2) The most important thing to learn is how to learn effectively. And (3) every situation countered will have a better outcome sooner if treated as a problem to be solved (using an effective problem solving procedure. I believe your redefinition of public education with its reliance on interdependence addresses these thoughts.
You do talk about the chaos that is our world. For sure, should we want to, education could never include everything that might be encountered – not even close! So those learner-controlled learning opportunities need to be real, challenging, and varied enough to not only support the learner’s efforts to develop effective learning and problem solving habitual procedures BUT ALSO develop the confidence to believe in their capability to use them.
As I expect you will suggest, the learner will know when that point is reached and when they need to return to “mostly learning mode” (always in that mode somewhat). AND, of course, in the interdependence, there will be times when they will be in the “mentor/expert” role as well.
And that brings me to my “chicken and egg” issue. The key to this working is the richness of the trip. How can anyone know if their experience is rich enough to enable good self-judgement? Inappropriate interdependence could breed poor judgement, could it not?
I recall my PhD advisor telling me of a dissertation failure because of that candidate’s inadequate PhD advisor. One could argue the candidate did a poor job of interdependence; but should we always question all we do and all the feedback we receive?
I’ve never figured out why I’m sometimes identified as John Bennett and sometimes as jcbjr9455????
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