« 30 July #lrnchat | Main | "We" are Smarter then "Me" - Looking for Collaborative Input for SoMe Workshop »

August 24, 2009


Harold once posted his frustration about a school assignment his son had. As I recall, he was to write a report related to the internet--in longhand, without any hyperlinks. I'm not sure what that requirement did, other than provide practice in penmanship.

In terms of resistance--there are over 14,550 school districts in the U.S., each with its board, its principals, its problems related to financing.

Going to the moon, frankly, was a top-down decision (JFK's bright idea) coupled with the congressional opportunity to spread around the support wealth, with almost no opposition from political groups afraid that getting there would violate scripture, promote gun ownership, or perpetuate fluoridated water.

I don't see change in the immediate future coming from either the federal level or from most states. The latter are trying right now to keep from falling even further behind.

Under-the-radar experiments will continue: charter schools, independent models, home schooling. The formal-education establishment (administrators, teachers, publishers) ignores these things at its peril.


Newspapers. Music companies. Car Makers. These hugely dominant biz models were utterly broken by new technology coupled with new biz models.

I take Dave's point as well though - I have a 4th grader and would clearly be concerned with the road changing while he's on it.

Here is my concern, that he's either going to eat some change now or eat it later when he leaves a system that prepares him inadequately to compete in a global market.

I do think that change needs to be holistic and sweeping - no easy task I understand - but neither was going to the Moon.

Nice one, Mark. And good comments, Dave. You make a good point that perhaps where we are and where we need to be are too far apart. Nobody is going to jump the chasm if that means you fall to your death if you miss. If most intelligent people agree with Harold and Mark and Dave - where is the resistance coming from? Shouldn't Superintendents and Board Members and parents and governors and Secretaries of Education also agree? What's keeping the old technology in place? Do we have any successful models of how to break down an "old" technology on a national basis and replace it with a new one? As a side note, it seems that gasoline is another "old" technology that everyone agrees is past its useful service, but we can't seem to replace that national technology either.

What examples can we turn to for such a dramatic change? Anyone...? Bueller?

Just my two cents...

Yeah, Harold is smart. And for a guy with a strong vision, he's neither arrogant nor authoritarian.

On schools and change: I wonder whether, for many people, the gap between where schools are and what "child learning" could be is just too wide.

(I use "child learning" to mean "people who aren't adults yet." Don't mean to get into a big debate about who's in what group and who could benefit from what -- CL's just shorthand for whatever replaces formal schooling.)

What strikes me, as a former teacher and the parent of three children, is that changes to / experiments in CL are high-risk. I don't disagree that the existing system is seriously flawed--I was once a substitute teacher in the city of Detroit. But if my kid's 12 and somebody's going to try redoing how she gets ready to be 15, 18, 21 -- and that blows up, there's a lot at stake for her.

I'm not saying it couldn't or shouldn't be done. I am saying, frankly, I'm glad my kids are past the age where I have to decide for them.

The comments to this entry are closed.


Quoth she/he...

  • "The hallmark of revolution is that the goals of the revolutionaries cannot be contained by the institutional structure of the society they live in. As a result, either the revolutionaries are put down, or some of those institutions are transmogrified, replaced, or simply destroyed. We are plainly witnessing a restructuring of the music and newspaper businesses, but their suffering isn’t unique, it’s prophetic." --Clay Shirky

The Digested Digest

Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 08/2003

stat counter

  • View My Stats