Filed under: innovative education | Tags: hands on learning, innovative education
Next Generation Learning [Next Generation Learning, Bill & Melinda Gates Learning Foundation].
In many high schools and colleges, instructional methods fail to engage students or help them understand core concepts, retain learned material, or apply their learning to real-life situations. Learning models are often inflexible and do not account for students’ diverse learning needs. Organizational processes are too rigid to make use of data that could improve the teaching and learning environment. Too often,
postsecondary programs are designed without regard to the real-life challenges that many students face—such as work commitments, family obligations, and financial constraints.
Re-framing the formal curriculum [ Randall Bass]
Our understanding of learning has expanded at a rate that has far outpaced our conceptions of teaching. A growing appreciation for the porous boundaries between the classroom and life experience, along with the power of social learning, authentic audiences, and integrative contexts, has created not only promising changes in learning but also disruptive moments in teaching. We might say that the formal curriculum is being pressured from two sides. On the one side is a growing body of data about the power of experiential learning in the co‑curriculum; and on the other side is the world of informal learning and the participatory culture of the Internet. Both of those pressures are reframing what we think of as the formal curriculum. These pressures are disruptive because to this point we have funded and structured our institutions as if the formal curriculum were the center of learning, whereas we have supported the experiential co-curriculum (and a handful of anomalous courses, such as first-year seminars) largely on the margins, even as they often serve as the poster children for the institutions’ sense of mission, values, and brand. All of us in higher education need to ask ourselves: Can we continue to operate on the assumption that the formal curriculum is the center of the learning experience? . Now Randall Bass is primarily exploring the issues with undergraduate education but these points are pertinent also to high school education when we think of the changing landscape within the high school education system here and around the world.