Education reform – evolution or revolution?

In his article on “The future of Education” futurist Thomas Frey argues our current classroom-centric based education system is an outmoded legacy from the past that is now limiting educational development, just as the roman numeral system restrained the development of mathematics.

He envisions trends that will significantly enhance education will be based on:-

1) the use of confidence-based learning to significantly increase learning speed and comprehension

2) learning what we want, when we want – shifting away from a prescribed course agenda to one that is hyper-individualized, self-selected, and scheduled whenever a student wishes to take it will dramatically change levels of motivation

3) continued improvements in technology to improve the speed and comprehension of learning

He also was confident these changes would all start to occur within two years.  At least he was two years ago.

Never-the-less it’s an interesting and informative read.

Ken Robinson is another high-profile figure making the observation (May 2010 Ted Talks) that currently every education system in the world is being reformed. However the problem is that all reform does is try to improve an already broken model – what is needed is not evolution but revolution. He compares the current education system to a fast food system with similar detrimental effects.

There’s a tantalizing tinge of change in the air, but no clear direction yet. Then again, that would require general agreement about what education should achieve and how it should be done. Is that ever likely to happen?

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