The whole video is worth a watch, but I love this quote from a recent presentation by Dave Cormier:
As we’ve gotten more abundant access to knowledge, we’ve reduced the complexity of the teaching. And, it’s been a trade off, because in one sense, more and more people have had access, but what we’ve given them access to has been less and less complex.
Dave makes some interesting distinctions between simple tasks (those with one answer,) complicated tasks (sometimes with more than one answer), and complex tasks (those with multiple, unknown answers.) He uses the examples of figuring out the capital of a country (simple), building a plane (complicated), and addressing climate change (complex.) He argues, compellingly, that the current structures of schools are well suited for the first (and maybe the second) but not the third at all. As he says, the primary reason is our need to assess, and the result is that we teach kids that “learning is something that gets done” as opposed to being a lifelong quest.
Bottom line: our kids need to be able to deal with complexity. In order to do that, our offerings in schools must be more complex, must be more focused on building “citizens who can look for answers…not the answer.” This is the great potential, Dave suggests, of the access we have, when we’re not just looking stuff up on Google but when were engaged with others in pursuing interesting questions that matter and that are complex.
When the community becomes the curriculum, the what and the why of learning comes together…
The curriculum is not content, the curriculum of learning is actually other people.
Lots to think about here…