I began my career in education aligning with the great singer and artist, Henry Rollins who said, “The way out is education. It always has been, always will be. It is the great leveler of the playing field.”.
That idea will be amplified as our world moves into a more mechanized workforce. Our job as educators is to invest in human capital; to educate a new type of learner that focuses on being the creator, the artist, and the problem solver.
The how is building mindsets that make smart choices. That means focusing less on standardized tests and more on real thinking. This direction will cultivate a learner who is more reflective, confident, and adaptive.
Literacy plays a large role in that stance. Becoming a good reader is a stepping stone in becoming an informed and highly adept thinker. Whether it be through traditional books, film, new media, or financial literacy; it is a non-negotiable for a learner to be able to interpret texts of the world around them and to apply what they have learned in authentic contexts. A world without literacy leads you to: making bad choices, unemployment, early death, and incarceration.
I am excited about how the Social Age is pulling the rug from under education. The Industrial Age built our present schools, the Age of Information showed us that anyone can independently become an expert in a particular content area, and now the Social Age challenges schools to pool shared knowledge, skills and experiences into our curriculum. School must then mirror the real world where ideas and systems generated from favelas in Brazil are equally as important as the best practices found the schools of Finland.
My stance on education is to say, ‘Yes!’ to change because our children are worth it.
An educator like myself who is open to new types of thinking, maintains high expectations of his students, and thoughtfully designs curriculum from physical space to what is happening in the third week of a mastery project is someone who can navigate confidently in this brave new world.