Education change: a student perspective

I came across this RSA style video titled Why Education Needs to Change: A Student Perspective on Vimeo today. It was made by grade 8 students at the Calgary Science School as part of a “Renaissance for our Times” project, and was made in response to Ken Robison’s TED talk about shifting educational paradigms. It’s worth a view, as it provides a refreshingly ‘raw’ interpretation of the issues, with some challenging comments.

The video resonnated with me when I read yesterday morning’s post from the Daily Papert below:

“School is a place where students learn largely by working on projects that come from their own interests — their own visions of a place where they want to be, a thing they want to make or a subject they want to explore. The contribution of technology is that it makes possible projects that are both very difficult and very engaging.

It is a place where teachers do not provide information. The teacher helps the student find information and learn skills — including some that neither knew before. They are always learning together. The teacher brings wisdom, perspective and maturity to the learning. The student brings freshness and enthusiasm. All the time they are all meeting new ideas and building new skills that they need for their projects. Some of what they learn belongs to the disciplines school has always recognized: reading, writing, mathematics, science and history. Some belongs to new disciplines or cut across disciplines. Most importantly, students and teachers are learning the art and skill and discipline of pursuing a vision through the frustrating and hard times of struggle and the rewarding times of getting closer to the goal.”

Papert, S. & Caperton, G. (1999). Vision for Education: The Caperton-Papert Platform. Essay written for the 91st annual National Governors’ Association meeting held in St. Louis, Missouri in August of 1999.

All of this is churning around in my mind at a time when we are facing some serious challenges to the provision of schooling in Christchurch post earthquake, with many schools damaged severely, and others limited in what they can provide. I’ve been working with the GCSN locally, and with the MoE nationally to develop solutions to this problem.

So why is it that, when the opportunity for some serious change presents itself, we neglect to listen to what our learners have to say, or to the education philosophers who have so elequently described what the ‘desired’ state of school might be like? What concerns me is that, at this time of stress, we again return to the things we’re most familiar with – focusing on the square box classrooms, regimes of timetables and subject specialisation etc.

In saying that, I haven’t given up – and neither have a good many others around me. Watch this space 🙂

2 thoughts on “Education change: a student perspective

  1. The sharing of campus’ is tailor made for a blended approach to learning. Is this the plan in these schools? I see the GCSN is getting people together to develop Moodle courses so I assume there is some move towards this.

  2. I agree, why is it that the wider educational world is very clear about the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s education, while those in power have such a limited and restricted view of education?

Leave a Reply