History‘s newest revolution:to change the way the world learns(2005Version)
Education is about to change more than it has in almost 300 years --since the Prussian Government invented compulsory schooling in 1717.
We've called this change The New Learning Revolution.
But it is much more than a single revoluion.Dynamic,expanding networks are converging to provide the synthesis for a new creative age.
They chanllenge each one of us to completely rethink what we mean by learning ,teaching,schooling and education itself.
And British has a unique opportunity to lead that change.
Not only in one country.But to play the major part in spreading that change to the world's one billion people who live on under $1 a day and the other billion who live on less than $2 a day. The tools to bridge that digital divide are finally here . And we know how to use and share them.
The forcing catalysts for that change are blidingly obvious:
The new world of instant information: the combined knowledge of humankind at out fingertips.
The new wolrd of interactive technolgy: and the individual power for each person to use it --from early childhood till late in life.
The explosion of "mass innovation": where hundreds of millons of people co-create their own future. Millions already are doing that.
The "computer in your pocket" revolution: as the students of the world interact personly with online music,video, digital photograph -- in their own creative,multimedia learning workshops.
The community revolution: and the chance to turn schools into new comminty learning centers --soon to be lifeblong learning centers in the villages of the world's poorer countries.
The sharing revolution: where the world's finest teachers combine with the world's best multimedia producers to create new way of learining. And then share them with the rest of the world's 59 million school teachers and 1.5 billion students.
The upside-down revolution: where we finally realise that health,education --and dare we say it: Government -- are concepts we do for ourselves. Not something someone else "delivers"to us.
The genetic , neuroscience revolution: already staring to shatter the myths and dogmas on which much "education" is based.
Above all the new Open Revolution: at long last the possibility of finding a genuine Third Way to reinvent society -- the new open-source world of cooperative , collaborative co-creativity.
Overall,what BBC Director-General Mark Thompson calls"the new on-demand ,pan-media universe we are hurtling towards".
For the first time in history, we now know how to digitally store all the world's most important information.
And to make it avaliable ,almost instantly, in almost any from, to almost anyone on earth -- on demand, and much of it virtually free.
We also now how know much more about how to unleash the almost untapped learning potential of the human brain,mind ,body and spirit.
And to personalise that knowledge in ways that enable each of us to create and manage a much more creative future.
But only a fool worships his tools .These provide only the catalyst.
Says Canadian researcher and author Don Tapscott in The Digital Economy :"We are at the dawn of an Age of Networked Intelligence --an age that is giving birth to a new economy, a new politics and a new society."
Says British scientist and author Matt Ridly in his book , Genome: Thte autobiography of a species:"I genuinely believe we are living through the greatest intellectual moment in history. Bar none."
And the models to insprie this moment are already working:
At Swedish refugee centers infants from more than 100 countries have learned to speak three languages flunently --even before starting school. And in Montessori preschools around the world, three- and four-year-olds have for years beeon learning to read ,write ,spell and count:not. in dull classrooms but naturally by using all their senses.
The New Learning Revolution Model: The best time to develop your children's learning ability is before they start school --because most of the brainls major pathways are laid down in those vital early years.
In New Zealand's Tahatai Coast Primary School,all students graduate,at twelve or thirteen years of age,fully computer to use multimedia,digital tools to solve any problem they may encounter -- at a level generally found only among college-grade computer-studies students.Yet these children are from families with below-average incomes: 30 percent of them from minority ethnic groups.
The New Learing Revolution model: Create the right enviroment and even children from poor families explode into self-directed learning.
In New Zealand,eleven-year-olds up to three years behind in their reading are catching up in eight to ten weeks through a "tape-assisted reading programme." A typical gain in that time is 3.3 years.
The New Learing Revolution model: even if you're well behind at school, it's not too late to catch up, using simple learning methods.
Near Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in England, Cramlington Community High School has won rave reviews from Ofsted, the United Kingdom's Office for Standards in Education, for the way it has married interactive technology --speically interactive digital whiteboards instead of blackboards--with accelerated-learning teaching methods.
The New Learing Revolution model: Great methods can be used to dramatically improve learning inside a traditional secondary-school national curriculum.
In Singapore, the Overseas Family School is among the first to introduce the full International Baccalaureate"focused inquiry"curriculum for children as young as three years right through to senior high school. Almost 2,500 students ,from sixty-five nationalities,attend this international school . They are learning to be rounded,open-minded global citizens through a six-faceted universal curriculum.
The New Learing Revolution model: An interconnected world required a new-style curriculum to develop globally-minded citizens.
"Educators" around the world continue to debate the importantce of the process of education versus content,rigorous academic standards,"accountability" and "standardised tests".But the IB curriculum already provides a better alternative that combines most of these elsements--and more--for 1,595 schools in 128 different countires.
The New Learing Revolution model: Great schools can now end the mindless argument about process,content,accountbility and qualifications. As at Singapore's Overseas Family School,they create:
A universal culture: celebrating the great breakthroughs of all cultures ,and an understanding of the world,to produce.
Universal explorers : skilled in the process of open,scientific inquiry to discover,by themselves and in groups.
Universal knowledge: on a wide variety of projects ,linked with one's own culture and personal strengths and talents.Ideally
A universal information-technolgy network that instantly links students ,teachers,parents and school with vital information,including all personal study programmes. All to produce
Universal citizens: confident and competent to analyse all important problems and create positive solutions and with
Universal qualifications: including diplomas and certificates accepted and valued by universities and employers ,plus personal digital porfolios to show. each student's accomplishments.