What is school for?

In a recent whitepaper, Peter Diamandis suggested that there are 5 major problems with school:

  1. Grading (vs. a mastery model)

  2. Sage on Stage model (i.e., teacher-centric model)

  3. Relevance (or lack thereof)

  4. Imagination (or lack thereof)

  5. Boring

As an antidote, he proposes five new principles that ought to infuse learning:

  1. Passion

  2. Curiosity

  3. Imagination

  4. Critical Thinking

  5. Grit

Both lists raise the question that Seth Godin has posed:

What is school for?

Is it for:

  • Complying and cooperating with the teacher? Collaborating and co-creating with peers and adults?

  • Answers > Questions? Questions > Answers?

  • Accepting problems the teacher offers and solving them in known ways? Identifying our own problems and iterating toward better and better solutions?

  • Serving myself? Serving the Common Good?

  • Ranking and sorting learners? Finding ways to nurture the best possible version of each learner?

When you reflect on our Age of Accelerations, what do you think school ought to be for?


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Christian Talbot