Friday, August 12, 2011

Changing Education Paradigms

This week, Sal and I have had some powerful conversations about education. He comes from a family of educators and artists, something that I love about him. I have a degree in Education, specifically Elementary Education, and was trained in the constructivist model, which is a learning theory that posits that humans learn through experience. We learn by doing. With a definition as simple as that, you might be tempted to respond with a snarky "no duh!" However, teaching using a constructivist approach is more difficult than one might imagine; it is antithetical to our experiences as students and to the entire structure of our educational system, which is based on a model of training workers for jobs (which is a simplistic summary, I know, but it's true).

I've been thinking a lot about teaching, learning and writing, how they intersect, how they overlap and how they bolster each other. I'm going to share my thoughts and ideas here. I encourage you to participate in the discussion.

To kick things off, I will share with you this animated video of a lecture by Sir Ken Robinson, an expert in creativity and education. Most of what he says in this video I already knew, but it was so powerful, I actually cried afterward. Because my first response was hopelessness. I thought of my students, my classroom in Pittsburgh, and I worried for them. Our world is so broken.

But I woke up this morning determined to start a dialogue with myself and hopefully with you, blog reader, about what we can do to make our world less broken. Maybe even word toward healing.

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