A Policy Paper: The Strategic and Resource Implications of a New Model of LearningThis 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.
Learning with the Grain of the BrainIf young people are to be equipped effectively to meet the challenges of the 21st century it is surely prudent to seek out the very best understandings from current scientific research into the nature of how humans learn before considering further reform of the current system.
This article by John Abbott and Terence Ryan appeared in the Spring, 1999 issue of Education Canada.
Enriching Communities: Concepts of Communities in the Future“Enriching Communities” was the theme of the first International Baccalaureate Organization Worldwide Electronic Conference in 2004. John Abbott, as a contributor/leader, noted that the theme suggested that “right now, many people fear that communities are not what they once were, or indeed might be in the future, and that somehow they have to be enriched.” He contributed four papers to the conference, all on the topic of community (attached as one document, below).
Constructing Knowledge, Reconstructing SchoolingRather than thinking of the brain as a computer, cognitive scientists now utilize a far more flexible, biological analogy, where the brain is seen as a unique, ever-changing organism that grows and reshapes itself in response to use. In this article, John Abbott and Terence Ryan discuss how emerging brain research that supports constructivist learning collides head-on with many of our institutional arrangements for learning. The article first appeared in the November 1999 issue ofEducational Leadership.
can the learning species fit into schools?Education critic John Abbott quotes Bill Gates who states unequivocally; “High schools are obsolete… by that, I mean that even when they are working exactly as designed (they) cannot teach our kids what they need to know today”. Abbott explores what we know about our species that might help us understand better how humans learn and how to provide young people with the learning experiences they need. (This paper was delivered to The Campaign for Learning, 10th June 2005, Kensington Town Hall, UK.)
Crazy By Design: Adolescence, a Critical Evolutionary AdaptationThe latest research and theories from evolutionary psychology, neurobiology and cognitive science demonstrate the various ways that humans have evolved over time to be extremely effective learners. John Abbott discusses what current research from various fields can tell us about how the adolescent brain works and how educators can work with adolescent learners to maximize their potential.
21st Century Learning Initiative- Who We AreThe 21st Century Learning Initiative’s essential purpose is to facilitate the emergence of new approaches to learning that draw upon a range of insights into the human brain, the functioning of human societies, and learning as a community-wide activity. We believe this will release human potential in ways that nurture and form local democratic communities worldwide, and will help reclaim and sustain a world supportive of human endeavor.