Earlier this week I heard someone say “if you are resting on your laurels, you are wearing them in the wrong place”.
I think that is a great one liner.
People Who Love To Learn
An alert from Stephen Downes today directed me to a culture that might not be sitting on its laurels in thinking about and in the practice of education … Finland. Stephen shared news of the New Education Forum’s report (2015), A Land Of People Who Love To Learn.
I do think there are some important insights in the report for #coachlearninginsport. I felt at home when I read “In a world that is changing rapidly, the need to learn never ends”. (Note ‘learn’ rather than ‘develop’.)
Some of the messages (themes in bold) in the report for me are:
“Knowledge and learning are not as tied to a specific school or educational institution as they used to be.” (p.4).
“We insist that education must not settle for adapting to change, but also act as a driver. To raise brave, compassionate citizens capable of independent thought and bearing the responsibility for themselves and for others; curious people, capable of finding things out for themselves and assessing the reliability of whatever information they come across. People with a tolerance of uncertainty, the courage to implement their ideas in practice and even break a few rules, if necessary.” (p.4)
“Assessment must be changed to individual and continuous feedback, provided at all education levels. The key is to provide information on the personal development of individuals, not how well they did compared to others.” (p.6)
“we want to integrate schools to the rest of society also in terms of space. Instead of new educational institutions, we should be building learning villages that interact closely with the surrounding world.” (p.8)
“the need for interdisciplinary approaches and the continuous learning of new skills outweighs neatly compartmentalised competencies.” (p.9)
“Technology must be used to change how we do and learn things. This is about pedagogy, not the equipment.” (p.12)
“We no longer have the privilege of thinking that we are the best and no one measures up to us, and wait for the rest of the world to come and admire how we do things in our schools. New ideas keep emerging in all corners of the world and we need to make sure we are up to date, no shame in stolen with pride. Education needs to be imported as well as exported.” (p.13)
“New education is centred around the learner and his/her experiences. Love may not be easily quantifiable, but it is perceptible. The learner’s experience is the key indicator of success at all levels of education, from early childhood to adult education. All assessments must primarily be carried out from the perspective of the learner, not the teacher
The New Education Report is a short document. Within it there are some fascinating insights from an educational system that is lauded globally. I am very interested in the approach taken in the report. I think it is self-aware and self-critical.
My summary is very selective and I am sure you will finds lots of other insights from the report. I do think that any report with this introduction is deserving of your attention:
The New Education Forum’s messages were not aimed at painting an overall picture of everything that reforming the education sector might entail; they are suggestions for themes that deserve to be given centre stage more in open and critical discussion. The aim was to stimulate the readers’ thoughts and passions and encourage more open and constructive dialogue on the change in learning – not to put the minds of those content with the status quo at ease.