Good morning, everyone! I hope your 2014 is off to a great start so far! :)
I came across this amazing article back in October in another fascinating issue of Wired and thought it would be great to share here, in keeping with how this blog came to be.
This article really got me thinking further about the purpose of the university course that started this blog, especially when I read these lines:
Access to a world of infinite information has changed how we communicate, process information, and think. Decentralized systems have proven to be more productive and agile than rigid, top-down ones. Innovation, creativity, and independent thinking are increasingly crucial to the global economy. And yet the dominant model of public education is still fundamentally rooted in the industrial revolution that spawned it, when workplaces valued punctuality, regularity, attention, and silence above all else… Our educational system—which routinely tests kids on their ability to recall information and demonstrate mastery of a narrow set of skills—doubles down on the view that students are material to be processed, programmed, and quality-tested.
In my class, my professor returned again and again to the idea that technology has impacted our daily lives in an immense way, and that it could thus be harnessed to revolutionize teaching. While I understood what he was saying at the time, I feel like I grasp it even more now. Perhaps the lack of access to technology in poorer areas of the world explains why we don’t seem to have new geniuses popping up in modern society. (I blogged about this in a previous post, over here!)
Although technology has come a long way and much of what we have now didn’t exist in the lifetimes of Newton, Einstein, Curie, and others, the fact that the current method of teaching students is outdated cannot be ignored. Top-down approaches aren’t good enough, as seen in the fact that in 2006, the U.S. ranked #35 in math and #29 in science out of the 40 countries that were surveyed in an annual poll by PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment).
If you’re interested in learning more about putting students at the center of their education, check out this article for some steps you could take in your community!
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more cool things! :)