Education needs to change? / ¿Debería cambiar la Educación?

George siemens, en su blog ha pedido ayuda y ha lanzado tres preguntas que pide a todos los que le oímos, que respondamos.
Como podréis imaginar, yo me apunto a un bombardeo y he dedicado un tiempecito (limitado a 15 minutos) para responder a sus preguntas.
Perdón a todos los que ya aguantáis mi castellano por el destrozo que hago con el inglés también 😉

My answers:

1. Does education need to change?

Definitively. We need a change in the whole concept of formal education. If we think on the needs of our students as people, as students, as citizens, as professional and we think in the needs of our society (in the wide sense of this word) as well, we have to change it.

2. Why or why not?

Because of the current system of formal education only works for very few people, probably, because any educational system works for these few people; BUT there is a very big amount of individuals and communities around the world for whom our system has failed, in the poor countries as well as in the rich ones.

Basically, we expect than education help us to live better in our world (from any perspectives) and give us the minimum “cultural salary” to be happy in our society (in the case of basic education, K-12), and the professional preparation to be suceesful in the society (at any personal level of success). And if we see around us we can see than this is only a wish. It isn’t the reality of the majority of people for many reasons.

In my humble opinion the current system of formal education:

  • DOESN’T Understand and integrate in the basis of the educational processes concepts as multiculturalism, community, collaboration, collective, etc. which are crucial to confront some basic processes of survival in society, especially in our current and future societies.
  • DOESN’T believe students are capable to think “properly” by themselves. Teachers as well (we have full basic texts for our classes from editorials… or full LO sets from editorials)
  • DOESN’T Appreciate that at school is NOT more important recover data “for the future”, than learn how to understand and practice to think.
  • DOESN’T assume than the school is one of the first spaces to think in the life… Internet (and the “real life”) is much better to recover information.
  • DOESN’T Help people on it, to work together (students, parents, teachers). Consequently sometimes they are working against each other: teachers are surviving students and parents, students want go out from school ASAP surviving teachers and parents, and so on.
  • DOESN’T prepare people to solve appropriately problems. Our system (we, I’m a part of the system) prepare people to answer predetermined question, but sometimes they don’t know how find the right questions to answer.
  • DOESN’T support and encourage experiences of new perspectives of school at school. Curriculum, in our systems, is not a mechanism to build dynamically or collaboratively the school, is a straitjacket to force us to continue doing the same.
  • It is plenty of burocracy and useless mechanisms which make more slowly our answers inside.
  • BUT, on the other hand

  • It is full of people who know that we need this change.
  • It is tired to be the last.
  • It is more and more formed by connected people who interchange and share new ideas.
  • 3. If it should change, what should it become? How should education (k-12, higher, or corporate) look like in the future?

    This is more difficult. I don’t know the future and I’m really bad predicting.

    It will change for sure, I don’t know if it will change in the direction we need, but if it doesn’t change, may be it will disappear.

    If we change on the direction to solve the lacks I have mentioned before (and more than I don’t see, or don’t remember now), may be the school will become a community of learners more than a factory of consumers. A place to think, to explore, to understand, to discuss… It will be part of our PLE, the “formal part”.

    It would be local and global, doesn’t differentiate clearly between e-learning and on-site learning , formal, non-formal and informal contexts to learn would be a continuum interrelated explicitly and valuable each other.

    May be it wouldn’t change… BUT this is a very pesimistic thought, and education is an optimistic concept. We have to be optimistic.

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