A shift in time

History suggests that Lord Kelvin, the famous physicist, once boldly proclaimed there was nothing left that was to be discovered in physics. The only thing we could do he stated, was to measure more effectively. Famous last words. Just five years later, Albert Einstein published his theory of special relativity, which challenged the 'rules' of force and motion that had been used for over 200 years. It was time for a change, and time for a paradigm shift - something which would make the entire scientific community sit up, take notice, and then reluctantly change their collective mind on what the universe was really all about.

If you look up the word paradigm you will probably discover a definition that is something like: mould, standard, idea, model. In other words, a paradigm is something we use as a set of rules. The world of education is full of rules. And it's been a long time since anyone broke the mould. Schools are very conservative organisations, where those in charge have been around for a while, and 'know what works'. They don't tend to change very much. Some schools are changing, but many will stay just the way they are. According to Sir Ken Robinson, we need a paradigm shift (I would even say we need a paradigm break) to change the way education is conducted across the entire sector. We need a shift he says, because education is broken. It doesn't work the way it is, because it is based on an old model which is no longer relevant to the needs of today's society. Education is failing society, and failing children, by preparing them for the past instead of for the future. In a very powerful animated video to accompany his 'breaking paradigms' speech, we are taken on a grand tour of his ideas about why the education system needs to change. I shared a link to the video on Twitter and Facebook and had a huge positive response. The video speaks to everyone. So, if you have any interest at all in education, watch the video, and see why the current education paradigm needs to be broken.

Creative Commons Licence
A shift in time by Steve Wheeler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


Anon said…
I agree we DO need a shift / break.
I would also agree with John Dewey's contention that “Education is not a preparation for life; education is life itself.”
Only when 'those in charge' understand this will the break happen.
AdiNotNow said…
I think Sir Ken has given us the initial lever. Break the "factory" model. That's a start. Group children by their ability. Enforce graduation as does Germany.
I think the biggest problem as already stated is that the politicians, particularly in the UK, don't trust teachers to manage education. This is uncomfortable for many teachers to accept but if they did they wouldn't keep telling us how and what to plan or assess. The next stage may be to show teachers what's out there. Most primary school teachers have no clue about web2.0 or Cloud Computing and still, even now, use IAWBs as electronic whiteboards. Your lucky if they use Web 1.0 technologies. Share what KS3 and 4, colleges and universities are using and it MAY help!!

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