donderdag 31 maart 2011

GOOD Education

Just read a fascinating article in The Australian. A quote:  "By 2025, there will be more Australians with degrees than ever before. This is an important first step, but it will be wasted if graduates haven't also been skilled to be the leaders and the thinkers of the 21st century. Achieving prosperity aspirations will require far-sighted reforms beyond a policy of funding universities on student demand alone."Another plea for thinking outside the square. I am not quite sure though whether this has to solely start with (university) education. Of course we still have not figured out what the essence of the good in education is (some claim it's the toolbox approach that is the substance of good education, others claim there is more to it, that is is about world citizenships etc. e.g. Nussbaum), but still I wonder: is that the only way to allow society to change? Because if you think outside the square, you still have to be able to find a relation with existing squares, so to speak. So not only the current generation of students has to learn how to be the leaders and the thinkers of the 21st century, also the current generation needs to be trained, educated, reshaped, whatever the wording. Otherwise we end up with a new generation that is disconnected and thus not capable of transforming. Because transformation needs connecting, of that I am convinced.

Also I am convinced that education needs philosophical scrutiny. Very few sector experience as many reshapings, innovations, new methods and experiments as the eduational sector, but compared to the intensity of experiments the theorectical foundation is rather poor. What is it that as a society we expect from education? What do we want our children to learn? What do we - grown ups (apparently:-)) want to learn? Who do we want to teach our children, our parents and ourselves? And where do we want to learn? Is the geography of learning and teaching, the where, important? Are schools the right form to work with for children? And if not, what, where and why then? Are schools on their way to museums as a form of education that we at one time thought was elementary to what we wanted to teach, be taught, learn and be educated in? A first grasp of questions that we by now quite desperately need to pay attention to. Starting with: what now is good education? Any thought anybody?

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