Bring on the learning revolution

Ken Robinson’s latest TED2010 offering has been doing the viral rounds.  Sir Ken is one of the most eloquent advocates for transforming schooling.  Although he doesn’t proffer a blueprint for how we do this, he certainly provides a compelling case for why we (as individuals and society) must.

As Thomas Jefferson said ‘every generation needs a new revolution’.

I’ll post a couple of Robinson’s clips here with some of the questions that I have been pondering….

3 thoughts on “Bring on the learning revolution

  1. I believe there is no blueprint because it is a transformative period. Educators must redefine and state their philosophies and integrate new research such as critical brain periods and what neuroscience tells us.

    Having a philosophy underpins your belief system. “A philosophy is another word for a vision or a great plan. It’s rather like a master plan that set the direction in which we aim to move”.

    Arthur, L., Beecher, B., Death, E., Dockett, S., & Farmer, S (2008). (4th ed.) Programming and planning in early childhood settings. Victoria: Thomson.

    I believe that it is our philosophy we benchmark our journey against.

    Educators need to start listening to children’s voice to make learning meaningful and tailor learning to individuals. The following is an interesting way to figure out where we are
    in the journey to democratising learning.
    Teachers attitudes ultimately affect the learner’s participation.

    Hart (1992) Hart’s participation model
    Rung 1 young people manipulated
    Rung 2 Young people are decoration
    Rung 3 Young people are tokenised
    Rung 4 Young people assigned and informed
    Rung 5 Young people consulted and informed
    Rung 6 Adult initiated, shared decisions with young people
    Rung 7 People lead and initiate action
    Rung 8 Young people and adults share decision’making
    From the 4th rungs children have a right to speak and thus participate and have some power. This challenges us to wonder what we are doing in the learning space.
    Higher engagement = more learning.

    I think the starting point is to start with a philosophy and reflect on where learners are on the participation model then ask yourself does that reflect your philosophy. Then… does the pedagogy you are using fit your philosophy?????? Moving towards Open Learning, the teaching philosophies of individual teachers can be debated and challenged which moves people along Mezirow’s 10 step process for transformative learning in creating shared vision and philosophy. For those members of staff whom don’t have a philosophy they could just Identify belief statements at grade or staff meetings. I believe….

  2. The narrative has to be sustained with a coherent theory of learning for today’s world. This is a dynamic that requires constant reflection and dislogue.
    Otherwise the practice will fail due to no foundation

  3. Agreed which is why educators need to articulate their philosophies. My concern is that schools are buying into conceptual frameworks instead of examining their own learners and learning communities. Open learning failed in the 1960’s but the focus has changed now to explore the conceptual framework of inclusion –I believe it is intended to make all children feel empowered and give them agency addressing principles of democracy equality, liberty and fraternity. This means we all work together as a reflection of the wider authentic community. Children have a voice. I believe the theory of learning needs to be child centred.

    “Open education is a philosophy which values the natural development and experience of the child as the primary determinants for the appropriate curriculum and methods
    Without traditional rooms, teachers could redefine the nature of their role. The teacher shifted from the dispenser of knowledge to the facilitator of learning. Teachers were no longer isolated from each other. They were better able to confer and plan. Learning became an activity that was child centered rather than teacher-oriented. Standard grade-level skill checklists were set aside and the differences in individual needs provided the rationale for the curricula. Students’ progress was not based on rankings, which define success in a competitive context; instead, evaluation of progress was reported in terms of the individual’s achievement in relation to growth from previous levels and the individual’s initiative and responsibility as demonstrated in academic and related arts areas”.
    Read more:

    I have also been reading about empathic intelligence.
    “Empathic intelligence is to provide educators and students with a framework that are facing challenges of rapid change. This framework anchors the processes of learning, maturing, developing and integrating and transforming life’s intra and interpersonal experiences. It priveleges the tacit abilities of humans to direct their own learning, supported by empathic others” (Arnold, R.2005 p16)

    I see REACH as the corner stone of the foundation. I also believe that as life long learners and looking at the wider learning community that academics at local universities would be a better option than buying into programs.

    I like the Siddiqi, Hertzman TEAM ECD Framework, it has a great combination of developmental and sociocultural / contextual theories placing the child at the centre and examining the spheres of influence on the learner which builds community capacity.

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