Lest we forget, let me remind you of the math, Students Pay Teachers to Educate them. That makes them… well, in a sense at least, “The Boss”, AT the very least students are the “clients”. Teachers are in-effect service providers. Lets not forget that.
I wrote a post some time ago about how there’s a fundamental shift in the way kids are processing information. When I present Prensky’s Digital Natives to my students, some of them cant help from nodding enthusiastically – FINALLY, someone’s explaining to them why things are the way they are.
And the way things are, well – any recent MBA/BMM student will admit – they can do with improvement.
In my opinion, going by prensky’s paper, other readings, and my own experience I think these are the new “Tenets of Learning”, at least from the Undergrad Level forward. Some of them sound really old-school (Think “pre Industrial Revolution”, but I stand by them)
- Freedom of Information – All Information should be free – why *shouldn’t* a post grad student have his computer in class, with all information at his fingertips? It then becomes the responsibility of US the TEACHERS to set the kind of killer paper that still tests them.
- Collaboration – Right now, there is a very simple concept – MBA students call it RG (Relative grading) – its worse than “every man for himself” – under RG, its not only enough that you do well, but it is equally important that others do BADLY. We teachers are educating our “clients” for a future that is going to demand collaboration – and if we remove some institutionalised rules, we’ll see that students WANT to collaborate.
- Apprentissage and Mentoring – You never stop being a student. And, pretty much, you never stop being a teacher. Those of you who have done even 1 guest lecture will agree – when you get their attention, and see them understand something you’re trying to explain, you want to do it again and again. and its not enough to speak to a faceless class of 100 students. work WITH a smaller group. really work with them
- Training for Flexibility – The next 30 years are going to be very turbulent – older tools are being replaced by newer paradigms – why are we still teaching the “History of the newspaper printing industry”?
- Live projects – Mahatma Gandhi said, “What we Learn to do, We learn by doing”. . Companies are going to emply these kids – shouldn’t they be working with them to make sure the kids have the right tools?
I may soon be in a position to effect ACTUAL CHANGE in the way students are being taught across the country. I cant talk about it just yet (sorry, but when I can – you’ll be the FIRST to know), but before I take that step I need to do it in the same spirit that will drive the change. I need to follow my own tenets.
SO Here goes.
Help me understand stuff from your point of view – be you a student, a recent student, a teacher, an employer who will be hiring these students, or someone just interested in education in general. Please help me answer questions like
– What should we be teaching undergrad and postgrad students ?
– What did you LOVE about Learning ?
– What did you HATE about studies?
– Any anecdotes when you taught something well, or something was taught to you well?
– How do YOU study? How do you teach?
– What things would you like to see changed
…. Yknow. Stuff like that.
I wait with baited breath for your response.