As the first post I thought it best to introduce the intention of this series of blogs. It is my intent to share thoughts on education today, what education will serve our children best for their future, consider how to go about that and to support teachers in providing a strong education for the future.
Today education is going through a major transition. It is becoming increasingly clear that an education based purely on knowledge is of limited value. Research is showing the importance of social and emotional intelligence, indeed values and meaning are increasingly part of the business world. Thinking skills, along with numeracy and literacy are still key, yet in the real world they are being expanded. Increasingly the domain of literacy includes the digital world and creativity is an important thinking skill, as is the ability to be self-directed. Unfortunately, despite some great progress in some spaces, overall the education system is lagging far behind. Further whilst education has, predominately, been about gaining ‘knowledge’ for the ‘knowledge age’ to ensure great employment opportunities, this approach is no longer suitable. Today we are rapidly moving away from the ‘knowledge age’ to the ‘conceptual age’ (Pink, 2005) and it is critical we, as teachers, adapt.
In the ‘conceptual age’ different skills are required to the ‘knowledge age’. Pink indicates six key senses that will be essential in this new era and they are well worth covering. However I will, for now, focus on more familiar skills that are mentioned above. In addition I will highlight an overviewing concept that is foundational to this transition. In the past, being able to store and access a lot of information in ones memory has been critical to success. While this is still important, increasingly we are forced to acknowledge that there is an excess amount of knowledge available, easily available, via the Internet. As a consequence of this the ability to access, evaluate, select and effectively apply knowledge is even more important that having it stored in ones memory. Information literacy has become an essential skill.
As a consequence of this change in required skills, today’s education needs to adapt in order to provide the skills necessary to succeed. Thus, this site and blog are to consider how we can go about providing these skills, supporting this change and support those enacting the change, today’s teachers who teach with tomorrow in mind.
Pink, Daniel (2005) A Whole New Mind Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin