Is Self-Evolving Learning Our Holy Grail?

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Is Self-Evolving Learning Our Holy Grail?

Every time I think I have abstracted up to the highest level, I find I have not; one would think I would learn.  So here is my new highest-level understanding of the critical link between the future of education and how we get there:

The model of proscriptive education is busted.  The world is changing too quickly for us to say “here is the next thing; implement it or learn it and you will be OK”.  What we really mean when we put all the 21C skills, essential qualities of a student, and the challenges of a rapidly changing world together is this: we want our students to become self-evolving learners. If they do not, they will always be behind the curve of an ever-accelerating global information and skill base; they will be spectators rather than vibrant participants in the cognitasphere.

If we want students to become self-evolving learners, our schools must become self-evolving organizations.  The “here is the right model” approach, won’t work.  The rates of change are totally out of phase. It takes years to publish and approve new texts; it takes a decade or more to develop, accept, and implement new standards, be they Common Core or others.  These are evolutionary steps, but they are still largely externally imposed. Learning in a fluid and rapidly changing world requires the skill of self-evolving learning. Learning is an ecosystem, not an assembly line.  We never get “there”; there is no “there” to get to, any more than as a species we will ever arrive at our final anthropological iteration.

Bo Adams and I are frequently on the same page.  Here is what he wrote today:

Could we re-imagine and re-purpose so that school becomes more of a quickly evolving ecosystem that better integrates learners with real-time, real-life, contextual learning and a developing citizen skill-content set that readies learners for the present and future more than for a past that is rapidly fading?

If we expect our students to be adaptive, self-evolving learners, we (educational leaders, teachers, schools) can’t be less.

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By | 2012-08-11T15:10:43+00:00 August 11th, 2012|21C Skills, Innovation in Education|3 Comments

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  1. […] Is Self-Evolving Learning Our Holy Grail? « The Learning Pond […]

    • glichtman August 12, 2012 at 1:39 pm - Reply

      Thanks for including in your Must Read list!

  2. dominicanbreezes August 17, 2012 at 4:28 am - Reply

    To re-imagine and repurpose. What dynamic and meaningful topics for educators. Over the years, both as a teacher and in private industry, I have found it necessary to proceed without permission, as the saying goes, “ask for forgiveness and move forward rather than ask for permission and be told no.” Unfortunately, this does not work as one tries to change curriculum. Not unless you don’t want to teach ever again. As for text books, the majority of teachers due to the lack of funding are now collaborating and coming up with alternatives to text books. There are a few departments that are an exception, such as, English and the Maths. What I have observed is, that despite of the slow “educational systems” there is a fairly large number of people innovating because they feel the necessity to properly prepare our students for the “real world.”


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