What does it mean to be educated? Has the meaning of being educated for today shifted from what it meant fifty years ago? What will it mean to be educated for students who are entering our schools today and will graduate in 2024? Are schools preparing our children for their future or our past and present?
These are important questions to ask and answer as educational leaders. What implications do the answers to these questions have on curriculum content and delivery, scheduling, grouping of students, assessment, and technology?
Education is about teaching and learning, which are inseparably intertwined. I realized how heavily influenced my learning has become through the use of social network platforms and the growth of a Personal Learning Network (PLN). My learning has changed forever and in consequence my philosophy of education and teaching has and is shifting accordingly.
The possibilities that are opening up through skills and emerging “new” literacies, often labeled 21st century, will allow us to see completely different patterns of studying, researching, connecting, creating and ultimately learning. These skills and literacies are vital in order for our students to succeed in a flattened world. There is a giant divide between the theory of teaching and the practice of implementing them in our schools though. Nobody can force change on anyone, it has to be experienced.
Albert Einstein said:
“ I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.”
This does not only apply to our traditional vision of who we label students in our schools, but must include teachers, administrators and all stake holders. A new vision of life long and self-directed learners, transparent in their learning process, is emerging and a significant component of building learning communities in global collaboration environments. These new communities will not only “prepare” students for life, but will allow them to experience life with teachers and coaches who facilitate authentic and meaningful learning opportunities.