This Policy Proposal, from the 21st Century Learning Initiative in the UK, is written to assist those in positions of influence to initiate powerful changes to current educational arrangements. The circumstantial evidence for such a transformation of learning is drawn from the best in research and practice from around the world. The paper shows that better informed, and more effective, models of learning could be organised through a redistribution of expenditures and responsibilities, at a total cost no greater than current levels of expenditure.
The annual Survey of Canadian Attitudes toward Learning (SCAL) provides a unique opportunity to gauge the opinions, perceptions, and beliefs of Canadians about various aspects of learning in Canada. Now in its second year, the survey was designed by the Canadian Council on Learning (CCL) in consultation with Statistics Canada, which administered the survey on behalf of CCL.
Canada has a strong history of investment (both philosophical and financial) in public education. Over 40 billion dollars is spent annually on getting our children from kindergarten to grade 12, yet public opinion polls show confidence in the education system is at an all-time low, home schooling is growing exponentially and the percentage of children attending private schools has doubled in the past 25 years. Although public education certainly appears to work for a percentage of our children, an increasing number of factors point to a deeply flawed system.
Canada has a lot to be proud of when it comes to education. We rank well internationally, our schools are filled with intelligent, passionate educators, access is free and the majority of our youth graduate from high school to join a diverse and primarily peaceful, well-functioning society. Many of us, however, have a niggling suspicion that something isn’t quite right. When you can’t think of a single teenager who enjoys school and is excited to learn – something is wrong. When teachers can’t possibly use teaching strategies that support deeper learning because the curriculum is too crowded – something is wrong. And when we have increasing rates of youth violence, apathy, depression and suicide – something is very definitely wrong.
I, like many others, tired myself out working to place the new findings about learning within the present system. They don't just not fit; they collide head on.
Not only is the system upside-down, but by failing to recognize the significance of informal learning outside of school, it is inside-out as well.
Get rid of that machine model of the brain. It’s wrong! The brain is a biological system, not a machine. Currently we’re putting children with biologically shaped brains into machine-oriented schools. The two just don’t mix. We bog the school down in a curriculum that is not biologically feasible.
Lawyers. Accountants. Radiologists. Software engineers. That’s what our parents encouraged us to become when we grew up. But Mom and Dad were wrong. That’s the argument at the center of this provocative and original book, which uses the two sides of our brains as a metaphor for understanding the contours of our times.
In the tradition of Emotional Intelligence and Now, Discover Your Strengths, Daniel H. Pink offers a fresh look at what it takes to excel.