#54 Old Urgencies, New Urgencies for Change

The compelling case for reimagining schools is not difficult to make. It’s a combination of common sense and a clear understanding of how the changes in the world are creating new challenges and opportunities for learners both in and out of school. In other words, the compelling case is built on a sense of urgency that comes both from what we know and what we don’t know.

That’s the discussion that Bruce Dixon and I are having in this our 54th episode of the Modern Learners Podcast as we get back behind the microphones after a short hiatus for travel and invention. If you’re looking for some really challenging conversation about the purpose of schools and what the future requires of our kids, I’m thinking you’ll really enjoy this discussion.

Just to whet your appetite a bit, here’s a quote from a powerful speech we reference from Carol Black:

So, one of the weirdest characteristics of education in our society, and there are a lot of them, but one of the very weirdest, a lot of indigineous people from around the world will tell you, is that our approach to education is extraordinarily authoritarian. It is obsessed with compulsion and control. So the child in a modern classroom, may not move, speak, sing, laugh, eat, drink, read, write, think her own thoughts, look out the window, or even use the toilet without explicit permission from an authority figure.

(UPDATE: Just realized that most of this speech is adapted from her post “A Thousand Rivers.”)

And, from Yuval Harari’s new book:

The best advice I can give a 15-year-old is: don’t rely on the adults too much. Most of them mean well, but they just don’t understand the world.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment thread below. Enjoy!


Carol Black: Alternatives to Schooling
Carol Black’s Blog
21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Harari
International Baccalaureate
Modern Learners Podcast #45 – “Watching Our Kids Too Closely” (Discussion of a Carol Black post.)

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