Where are we going?

Where are we going?

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time then you know my views on schooling, education, learning are changing.  More and more I am finding schooling interfering with learning, not for everyone all the time but, often enough that I am not sure we know what we are doing and why. 

The article User Generated Learning caught my attention. Though for the most part I agree with the progression I am not sure I agree that technology is essential to achieving Education 3.0. In many ways I find that Education 3.0 is a reversion to an early time. The proponents of un-schooling and even my own school experience are about being full of connected, collaborate learning and exploration; driven by learner curiosity, passion and need. I am not so sure that Education 1.0 is the result of technology-less learning environment but more a high stakes testing environment.

I am a product of schooling in the 70s and early 80s.  Though we did not have technology, as we know it today I was fortunate enough to attend schools that challenged our thinking, promoted inquiry and project based learning long before PBL was a hot idea. I remember being give a box of wires, and lights and magnets and other bits and pieces. We were told to see what we can create.  We played with those bits and pieces and talked to each other, looked through books for days.  I do not even remember a teacher in the process but I am sure she was there guiding and offering questions from time to time.  I remember to this day many of the projects my 7th grade classmates created.   I remember most of the lessons from my school days because that is how we learned everything in all our subjects.

The classrooms were noisy and purposeful; there was lots of sharing and excitement going on.  There were frequent trips out into the community and lots of guests to classrooms.  We created meaning, we followed our own lines of inquiry, we shared, compared, analyzed, drew conclusions and even published our findings. We took learning side trips to satisfy our curiosity. We took on “special projects” instead of what our classmates were exploring if we asked and explained why we wanted to that instead.  I had a 3.0 education in a non-tech world, the technology would only give us more tools and a wider audience to do what we were already doing.

But we were the same students who ‘failed’ the international math and science tests.  We were the product of an education system perceived to be broken, un-discipline, un-focused. As a result high stake testing, state and national curriculum, specific focused learning objectives and standardized accountability came to be the center of schooling, not learning.  Education 1.0 became the entrenched national way of doing schooling.

I am not sure Education 3.0 as out lined in the article can exist in such a managed, and controlled environment. You cannot have standards based education in a system that allows freedom to learn, inquire and move in different directions or at different speeds from fellow learners.

We are an educational system at odds with itself.  We really do not know where we are going.

One thought on “Where are we going?

  1. Beth Knittle,

    I am a student at Northwest University in Kirkland Washington and am studying to become an elementary educator. I am in a class, Technology in Education, and am learning how to integrate technology in to the classroom. The class has been great. We have created blogs, been introduced to fabulous websites, and am learning how to use technology as a medium in the classroom. Technology wasn’t integrated into my classrooms until the 7th grade and even though it is integrated into every classroom now, I feel like I also had a 3.0 education until then. I know that what you put into your education you will get back and that technology doesn’t have to be the source for success. When asking your question, where are we going, I know that wherever we go, the technology isn’t going away. It is exciting to think about all of the exciting things that are being done in the classroom, but also sad about all the times technology is used in the wrong way. I think that if we are going to use as much technology as we have been in the classroom, we need to educate our teachers on how to use it effectively.

    Thanks for the wonderful blog post:)

    Erin

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