maandag 24 januari 2011

A lost generation?

Over much of the last years I have been involved in educating professionals in the field of cultural entrepreneurship, educational leadership and other topics. Sometimes we started off on a specific topic but through dialogue, action learning etc whole new fields were discovered. Education as it is supposed to be: interaction, the human dialogue in the center if and where needed supported by ICT, activiation of tacit and hidden knowledge of participants, making full use of the creativity of all involved.

Yes, there is heaps of creativity in people who are 30+. Why the somewhat irritated yes? Because the main focus these days seems to be on the seeminly boundless creativity in kids. That focus sometimes makes me feel like I am part of a lost cause, a lost generation. Away from the personal an a generational level I think that in focussing so much on the next generation we are forgetting our own strength, ability and responsibility in developing this society.

I am part of a generation that was brought up on regimented schools, learning facts, being taught on the borders of old fashioned school thinking and new instruments and didactical thoughts and possibilities brought on by ICT. A generation that does a lot of DYI when it comes to e.g. ICT and self development. A generation that is currently looking for anchors and sustainable development and that has the incredible challange in doing so while being both the catalysts, designers and subjects of change. We are in and of the changes that we experience, initiate, create and are subject to.

How can we enhance this generation of 30, 40 and 50 year olds in their quest to develop themselves and so develop society? Not only in instrumental relation to their work but also in more general terms? We cannot only live by putting all hopes on the next generation and putting our time in developing the best curriculum and educational strategies and products for them. In doing so we are cutting corners: it puts way too much pressure on the coming generation to "save the world" whilst simultaneously underestimating the qualities so abundantly available in the current working generation. A generation that I feel we can support by bringing the human interaction back to the center stage of the educational process. By taking advantage of technical solutions but also, and probably mainly by exploring innovative ways of combining ideals, passion, knowledge and emotions into a conscious learning processes.

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