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Learning or Training? How Do We Teach For Tomorrow, Today?

posted Oct 15, 2012, 2:41 PM by Christine Gordon   [ updated Oct 15, 2012, 2:51 PM ]
I've just signed up for a MOOC (massive open online course) through Stanford's Venture Lab called Designing a Learning Environment. Technically it has just started today, but already the forums are active. One of my fellow students was playing with the idea of learning vs. training and it has got me thinking. 

Historically, schools were designed to train workers for the industrial age factories and factory lines. This is what we would call "training." However, the world has changed significantly in recent years, and the rate-of-change is ever-increasing. But the real question here is, have we changed along with it? Eddie Obeng would argue that no, we have not been keeping pace, as in his TED talk, he says "We spend our time responding rationally to a world which we understand and recognize, but which no longer exists.”

Smart Failure for a Fast-Changing World

For kids that are starting kindergarten today, we have no idea the kinds of careers they'll have. by the time they retire (in 2070!). How do we educate kids for jobs that don't even exist yet? This question shapes our fundamental approach to schools and helps define how we see the goals of education. Sir Ken Robinson famously speaks to this in his TED talkSo "education" is, at least in part, preparing students for the unknown.

Schools Kill Creativity

So what do you think? What should schools of the future (ie present) look like? How do we teach creativity? What does a good education look like?