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Friday, July 1, 2011

Rethinking the 3 Rs

Reading-Writing-Arithmetic. Three words that conceptualized the model of education in North America for some time. In many ways, we have outlasted and outpaced these primitive notions of an education.

All things considered, learning is really about two things: processing and communicating.

We access information and we make a decision about it.
We are faced with a decision and we take action on it.
We are critical of something and we reflect on it.
We are interested in something and we choose to learn about it.

Learning is not able to be contained within three boxes. Its box surrounds all the boxes we can fathom.

As a species bent on development and progress, we have an inherent need to learn. While much of that learning is difficult to isolate and identify - make no mistake that our learning shapes the people we are and the pathways we choose.

Our students are driven by self-motivated goals. Our imperative is to align their goals with those identified by our education system. Curriculum expectations supply the framework, teachers supply to vehicle decisions. Students will supply the energy and labour, but only if they find value in the product, the presenter or perhaps even the bigger picture.

Should we choose to follow the paths of the past - we may inspire students to mirror the actions of the past. In a society faced with the issues of today, we will need new perspectives and brave actions. These fundamental shifts in the future of our societal decision-making may even begin with one mind-blowing classroom lesson...will it be yours?

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