We have been fortunate to have recently been working with Dr Yoram Harpaz, Director of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership in Israel. He is an extroadinary man with a fascinating take on learning in today’s world.
For Yoram, the approach to schooling is how the digital world has spawned generation Y and therefore demands a fresh new approach. Yoram says there are three competing pedagogical “ideologies”:
- socialisation – getting kids to fit into society. This leads to a direct-instruction pedagogy.
- aculturation – school is about understanding the world and the responsibility of children to contribute. This leads to a more collaborative pedagogy, which leads to an understanding of how you fit into society.
- individuation – the individual is the starting point and the individual view is critical. This leads to the personalisation of learning.
In reality, the three are always in competition with each other and the predominant one emerges given a range of local, national and international pressures and contexts. The important point he makes is that these ideologies are given life by teachers; that every teacher has a ” pedagogical sentiment” which, is a reflection of the interplay of the competing ideologies.
Yoram argues teachers must recognise and break out of the constructs so as to meet the needs of young people today. His insights gave me a new perspective in relation to what I have been calling the ‘pedagogical DNA’ and the difficulty in changing this ‘code’ in teachers. His wisdom challenges us to look deeper at the issues involved.