Public schools today look pretty much like they did 100 years or more ago, with changes limited to doing the same things a bit better. A few leaders, however, are recognizing that dramatic changes in the global economy and society are demanding that education be reinvented to reflect the new situation and demands, and new understanding about how the brain learns is turning our thinking about learning upside down. Here we highlight some people and ideas that are leading the way to a new paradigm for education.
Richard Elmore is the Gregory R. Anrig Research Professor of Educational Leadership at Harvard University, and the director of the Doctor in Educational Leadership (Ed.L.D.) program at Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is very well known for his extensive efforts first in education policy and later working in numerous schools to help professionalize their teaching practices. This long history makes his comments in the video below about the future of education particularly striking and noteworthy. He suggests that his current efforts are “palliative care for a dying institution,” and he outlines how he sees education moving away from schools and toward learning. The two TED talks he highlights are presented below. The entire panel from which this was taken can be viewed here.
Sugata Mitra: The Child Driven Education TED Talk July 2010
Sugata Mitra talks about his very interesting experiments where he placed Internet-connected computers with touch screens in various poor regions around the world. Students showed they can learn very effectively without any additional support.
Charles Leadbetter: Education Innovation in the Slums TED Talk April 2010
Charles Leadbeater went looking for radical new forms of education — and found them in the slums of Rio and Kibera, where some of the world’s poorest kids are finding transformative new ways to learn. And this informal, disruptive new kind of school, he says, is what all schools need to become.
Education From a Digital Native’s Perspective
This animated video does a great job showing how technology enables students to play an active role in their education through an interactive, personalized, and continuous learning experience.
Will Richardson: Schools Are Not Designed For Learning
This TED talk by Will Richardson points out that we know how people learn best, but what we do in our schools has nothing to do with that understanding. We need to make schools places of real learning.