Deciding what to juice our minds with and what to outsource to the machines has no definitive answer. However, rote memorization, knowledge regurgitation, and anything inside-the-box will only have depleting effects on a growing creative class. We need more artists and entrepreneurs, engineers and programmers. People that dream, and know how to make that dream come true. This is what our education system needs to embrace, this is what our Renaissance is all about.
The irony of all this – if the past is any indication of the future – is that the innovation in education, to teach the skills behind creativity and execution, will not come from the bureaucrats but rather the innovators themselves. Just as a painter teaches painting, and a pianist teaches the piano, it will be an entrepreneur who dreams, designs and builds the platform that can effectively teach entrepreneurship. But the time is here and now, with cell phones outnumbering toilets in the developing world, we must democratize this novel art form and empower individuals to paint their own canvas.
And the frustrating part is that the dreams of the policy makers and, in many cases, the parents of the kids we teach are decidedly less lofty. Those dreams are ignited by a vision of schooling, not a vision of learning as it might exist today. Once again, the context for having these conversations needs to be modernized if our Renaissance will truly come about.