Friday, September 5, 2014

Questions of Identity

Listening to an interesting TED talk recently --“Bring on the Learning Revolution” by Sir Ken Robinson ( I found myself thinking a lot about one of his statements.   

He said that we have to move education from an industrial model (= linearity, conformity, batching people) to an agricultural model (= adapting methods to the local environment and goals).   
Robinson argues that human flourishing is an organic, not a mechanical, process.  We can’t predict outcomes, just create conditions under which people will begin to flourish. Robinson's claim is that good teaching involves customizing information to our own circumstances, personalizing education to the people we’re actually teaching, and helping them develop their own solutions to problems with external support based on a personalized curriculum.

Assuming that is so, what does that mean for us here at Lincoln?   
What are our “local circumstances”? What are the outcomes under which Lincoln students will flourish? How do our teaching methods and our teaching content differ from those of West Chester down the street, or Drexel farther down the street, or even Cheyney, right around the corner?  Should they differ?   

What is our uniqueness here at Lincoln and how does it/should it carry over into our classes?

1 comment:

  1. My intuition is that Ken Robinson is wrong about the claim that "good teaching involves customizing information to our own circumstances" or "personalizing education to the people we’re actually teaching." I do not deny that these are laudable teaching goals. I merely deny that that is the essence of good teaching, particularly when you are teaching four classes of more than thirty students in each class. Under such conditions, it is difficult for teachers to do much customization or personalization, however good they are. That, it seems to me, is what good learning or a good student does: customizing information to our own circumstances and personalizing education.

    Safro Kwame