One of my favourite topics these days is the future of education. Interestingly in the last year or so just about every part of my life has become involved in some form of education…. in the morning we homeschool, in the afternoons and evenings I work as an e-learning facilitator and designer, in the spare cracks I teach my (much diminished) freelance writing team about writing, and all day every day my husband is teaching spirituality. If our kids don’t become educators of some sort I will be truly amazed…
So given my preoccupation with education and learning, and the fact that none of the learning we do could be termed as “traditional”, it is a bit of a theme of mine to be thinking of where education is heading.
I always had this dream that I would start a school here in Pakistan called “Love of Learning”, but wanted to first get to know the Pakistani education system. Unfortunately the more I got to know the Pakistani education system, the less I wanted a school like that! Sir Ken Robinson’s well known RSA video about Changing Education Paradigms is a perfect illustration of why the old system doesnt work and how the future could look:
After starting homeschooling and learning lots about better systems of education, I have been thinking about how online education could grow. It’s great to be sitting at home and doing our own system of school, but wouldn’t it be even more great if there were online learning communities where we could choose our topics, register to be part of a group that is doing that topic at the time, and interact with them throughout the course?
This is kind of what we do in our e-learning training courses at GCA. Each week there is a new module of learning, and the participants have resources and activities to do in the week. They work at their own pace, but have to submit their project or assignment to the forum before the end of the week and comment on the other participant’s posts. I absolutely LOVE this approach because it provides the freedom to work on your own, as well as have a support group to share ideas with, AND best of all, it converts the role of teacher into the role of facilitator, guiding the learning rather than directing it.
If we can incorporate self-directed learning, creativity, and all the other things we hold dear in homeschooling into this model, it could be an incredibly amazing system, and truly worthy of the name “Love of Learning”.
THIS is MY vision for education in the future.