Bob Gillingham of the Parker Lower School forwarded me an article by Grant Wiggins yesterday, in which he so clearly articulates the need to shift from content-based learning to a more contextual framework. He correctly argues that this is not and can not be a gradual shift, nibbling at the edges of the current model of learning:
“Suppose knowledge is not the goal of education. Rather, suppose today’s content knowledge is an offshoot of successful ongoing learning in a changing world – in which ‘learning’ means ‘learning to perform in the world.’
This is a wonderfully succinct statement of what so many of us are saying. Learning has been largely focused on the critical relationship between teachers, students, and knowledge, and that relationship can no longer be the nexus of learning. With ubiquitous connections amongst the billions of teachers and learners in the world, and with an increasingly fuzzy line between what defines teaching and learning, we have to reassess the fundamental conditions that drive education. We still need to teach and learn content, but the process of learning is vastly more critical than each specific of what we learn.