This is the first in a series of thoughts on education reform and the future of learning. Consider this an “overview” post.
Part One: Education Is Fatal
I have long felt that one’s childhood and their education play off of each other--they are never felt or experienced in equal amounts. Our notions of what constitutes “childhood” vary tremendously due to this exact problem. Some might say that childhood constitues being “seen and not heard”, absorbing lessons, biding time until one has developed fully; others insist that childhood is the most free we’ll ever be and our one moment of true innocence. Still others argue that children are merely young adults, capable of almost all (or at least most) of the same thought processes, rationalizations, and ideas.
We can’t settle this by trying to find the “most correct” perspective. Nor can we limit our options and say that it simply doesn’t matter. Not to be dramatic, but understanding how we develop is critical to changing our world. We have managed to create truly staggering societies based on our systems of education, but in a great many ways we have completely missed the point. And these omissions are coming back to haunt us.
One of the ideas I find truly fascinating is the sheer range of experience we each represent; the lives we have led and the wonders--some colossal, some microscopic--that we have seen. Just one person’s life story--replete with the spark of every synapse, the nuance of color, the texture of sound--is so vast, forming such a complete and compelling universe, that it is literally beyond our grasp. We can pass these details on only in tiny fragments, unable to express their interconnectedness or the whole from which they came.