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Changing Education Paradigms

Awesome animation, concise historical summary, and inspirational talk regarding education paradigms — where they are now and where they should be going.

Video Notes and Summary

Public Education Reform

Every country on earth, at the moment, is reforming public education. Two questions:

1. economic – how do we educate our children to take their place in the economies of the 21st century, given that we can’t anticipate what the economy will look like at the end of next week?

2. cultural – how do we educate our children so that they have a sense of cultural identity and so that we can pass on our cultural genes of our communities while being part of the process of globalization?

History of the Education System

The current system of education was designed & conceived for a different age – in the intellectual culture of the enlightenment and the economic circumstances of the industrial revolution. It was driven by an economic imperative at the time, but based upon an intellectual model of the mind that considered deductive reasoning and knowledge of the classics as “academic ability”.

Twin pillars of education: economic and intellectual

Education system is “modeled on interests of industrialism and image of it”:

  • factory lines
  • ringing bells
  • separate facilities
  • separate subjects
  • educate children in batches, by age group. assuming the most important thing kids have in common is how old they are (“manufacturing date”)

Historically, encouraged children into schooling because educators relied upon a story that hard word will lead to a college degree which virtually guarantees a job; however, this is not true anymore.

The old educational paradigm is “alienating millions of kids who don’t see any purpose of going to school.”

ADHD and Education

Prescriptions for ADHD form a (misplaced/fictitious) modern epidemic. “These kids are being medicated as routinely as we had our tonsils taken out” on a “whimsical basis” and subject to “medical fashion.”

“Our children are living in the most intensely stimulating period in the history of the earth. They’re being beseiged with information and pulled to their attention from every platform — computers, iphones, advertising billboards, hundreds of television channels — and we’re penalizing them from getting distracted. And from what? Boring stuff at school, for the most part. It seems to me that, not a coincidence totally, that the incidence of ADHD has risen in parallel with the growth of standardized testing.”

Arts and Experience

“The arts are victims of this mentality,” emphasizing an “aesthetic experience”, when “senses are operating at their peak”

  • “present in the current moment”
  • “resonating with the excitement of this thing that you are experiencing”
  • “when you are fully alive”

The converse is an “anesthetizing experience”, when you “shut your senses off”

  • “deaden yourselves to what is happening”
  • “getting our children through education by anesthetizing them”
  • “we should be waking them up”

Divergent Thinking

“An essential capacity for creativity” which helps you see lots of answers to a question, rather than pure linear or convergent thought. A longitudinal study revealed a 98% “genius in divergent thinking” rate in kindergarten and a decrease over time as people become “educated.”

Group Learning

  • “Great learning happens in groups”
  • “Collaboration is the stuff of growth.”

Posted in Commentary.

One Response

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  1. Cody A. Ray says

    If you’re into education, and love fun animations, watch this video. :-)

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