Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Present of the Future of Teaching

What's striking about Will's report from the Institute for the Future's workshop on the future of teaching is the extent to which it is focused on the present. I don't mean that in the "hey, Dewey thought of this 100 years ago" sense, but if they want to have a follow up meeting, they can place about a half-dozen phone calls to well-known (in the right circles), well-funded and researched projects that are out of the pilot phase and (stuck in the) "going to scale" phase. You don't need to guess about how the ideas on their cute wall charts play out. We pretty much know that already, and the people who've implemented them are happy to talk about it.

On the other hand, what is to come in the "I can live to be 120 and buy a robot to wipe my ass" future is more intriguing and mysterious, but apparently not covered. Here's a good question: how do you educate people to live in a democratic society with inexpensive, pervasive surveillance technology?

Update... Just to make this a little more concrete: I know a number of people who were hired to be exactly the kind of "learning agents" described at this workshop. Most of them quit after a year or two. Talking to them about what their job was actually like might be a better use of one's time than independently re-implementing their former job description.

1 comment:

James Farmer said...

Anything that has the word 'Stakeholders' at the top in big letters just makes me thing of dinner ;)