Two years ago Albert Ip wrote how our schools are failing us. The other day I was reviewing some of my online bookmarks and re-read Albert’s post.
My own criticism of our current school model is that it too closely resembles the industrial economic model of the past and is not suited to our current societal needs. Albert’s post shows that the baggage encumbering our education system goes back much further than the industrial era. It seems that we need to critically question the entire foundation of our education systems as we prepare for an age requiring creativity at every level, in an information-rich world.
Albert refers to the work of William Spady, a somewhat controversial figure in outcomes based learning, but with an interesting take on our current system, which Spady calls an iceberg, weighed down by layers of inertia:
The iceberg metaphor shows how much work there is to do below the surface in order to achieve systemic change. I’ve seen this with relatively small changes such as reducing homework in schools. It makes a learner-centric, process-oriented education seem even that much more inaccessible. But then, no one expected the fall of the Berlin Wall. We can change it, but first we have to understand what we’re up against and be ready with an appropriate option when the system cracks.