School of the Future: Scouts > Soldiers, Part 2


In a previous post, we wondered what school would look and feel like if learners were to see themselves as “scouts”—intellectual explorers—rather than “soldiers”—defenders of answers.

In Warren Berger’s Book of Beautiful Questions, he elaborates on the importance of this distinction:

“Scouts have ‘intellectual humility’ […].

“Defined as a ‘state of openness to new ideas, a willingness to be receptive to new sources of evidence’, intellectual humility is seen by one of its champions, author and U. Virginia professor Edward Hess, as the key to thriving in the days ahead. We can’t compete with artificial intelligence unless we humans keep learning, experimenting, creating, and adapting, Hess says. And we can’t do any of that unless we assume the lifelong role of human inquirer. As Hess declares in the title of his book, ‘Humility is the new smart’.

“If the ‘old smart’ was about getting high grades, knowing more right answers, and not making mistakes, the ‘new smart’ is measured by one’s ability to keep adapting.”

Through grades, honors assemblies, and more, Schools of the Past and Present signal that they are in the business of forming soldiers.

Schools of the Future will be in the business of forming scouts: adaptive, intellectually humble explorers.

In a world of accelerating change, isn’t it clear which type of learner will thrive and lead?

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Christian Talbot