Mark McCourt, whom I had the pleasure of meeting at the ResearchED conference in Oxford earlier in June, capsulizes the idiocy of the thinking about 21st century learning. I.e., that we shouldn’t focus on teaching students facts, because that only prepares them for what has happened in the past. It doesn’t prepare them for the future for jobs which haven’t yet been created.
He states the fallacy succinctly:
“Many of the jobs that I have done in my life, many of the decisions I have taken, could not have been predicted by my teachers, were not understood by the society that I grew up in, were not yet invented and were unimaginable. Many of the ways in which I lead my life, such as the use of Twitter or this very blog, are the preserve of this new future that I exist in, unimaginable to the school system of my childhood. Yet, I have been successful in my career, I am able to make decisions, and I can cope in this unimaginable world of technology.” …
“It isn’t rocket science. The idea that there is something radical that needs to change in schools is correct, but only insomuch as we need to strip schools back to these core purposes. Head teachers need to be left alone to create institutions focused on creating learn’d young men and women with the confidence to make their way in the world no matter what that world becomes. Make children really bright. Everything else will follow.”