Wow – just come off the face of a wave of inspiration called Stephen Heppell. Apart from the two of us talking continuously for the three days he was here, it was great to have time to spend with educators, innovators and others interested in doing things differently. There was a genuine buzz at each of the meetings and events we ran and pleasing for the first foray by Emergent Form into the notion of catalytic presences.
So, with potential created there comes a realisation that this is the start of something. A place from which to view the future and one that is considerably different from today which in turn demands some focus. A recurring situation throughout the last 10 years in fact, how do you bridge the gap between the vision of what is possible and the view of here, today.
One big idea that fits that bill and really shakes the trees has become almost a meme in itself. The notion that we can separate learning from education and get much better results is an underlying theme of the talks we had. This has surfaced in the video below (when I get it to embed) but also in numerous articles such as this one in Fast Company.
Taking this concept it is then possible to think about the notions of learning set free, with all of the techniques, philosophies and experience of centuries of teaching given new contexts, fewer artificial constraints and new places to flourish. This is what is really exciting. Allowing learning to find its own level and context and adding new possibilities such as technology, which is a part of all our lives, leaves a gap in the thinking at a strategy level. There is little evidence of a view of learning which can accelerate around obstacles like education systems and factory buildings at a National or State level and yet this could be a wonderful proving ground for new innovations to bring along the whole system.
Aside from that there are new contexts for effective learning such as the home, the corporate world and other areas of cultural crisis where learning of traditions, customs and culture has been neglected. We should continue to explore where we take learning now it is freed, how that might work and how it blows apart concepts such as ‘life long learning’ where that is considered to be a part of education.