Education sits between a rock and a hard place, I believe it always has. I believe this because today’s education model is educating students based on early 20th century needs. However, I also believe that education knows that we need to start educating our students for working on wicked problems and jobs that don’t yet exist. But how? This is a difficult question to answer.
I believe that we can begin to move in the right direction through designing our standards, lessons and projects around the INDIVIDUAL student, with real world situations and real world solutions. This may look different for each and every student. As educators our lessons should not be generic and mandated by someone who does not know the students individually. It is my goal to help educators use human centered learning allowing all learners to play and tinker, create and innovate, to experience and take risks.
In his dissertation “Unflattening” Sousanis said, “A distance between always remains. There are always gaps: spaces for the unknown openings for imagination to spill into. Incompleteness reveals that there is always more to discover” (150). I envision a need to create opportunities for learners to fill these gaps with deep learning, problem solving and creative thinking. One way to do this is through facilitation of a journey that is individualized through goal setting and diving deep into their desires to find the gaps in creativity that allow for innovation.
Another way is to make sure that the arts are being fused into all subject areas. This will take learning to that next level to allow for the creative mind to find the gaps that would be missed otherwise. Putting subjects like music and art at the same rigorous levels as science and mathematics because the arts have their own set of knowledge, tools and techniques which all come with their own “imaginative tools” used in humanities and the sciences.
The third way I believe will aid in filling the gaps with innovation and creativity is through mentorship. All learners need a good mentor. I plan on being a mentor by helping to create a learning experience that is duplicatable, fosters individuality and personal professional growth. Allowing for risks to be taken from me and those learning with me and all of us working through the productive failures and seeing them as professional growth.
So again, I am brought back to the rock and a hard place. I believe that by looking at the education model through the lens of unknown openings for imagination to spill into, I will be able to help fill the gaps that are lacking in the current education model.
Root-Bernstein, R. S., & Root-Bernstein, M. (1999). Sparks of genius: The thirteen thinking tools of the world’s most creative people. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.
Sousanis, N. (2015). Unflattening. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.