Thursday, July 16, 2009

The need to change the DNA of teaching


Teachers need to create a new pedagogical DNA in order to prepare their pupils for the world yet to come.....? Discuss.
This very much follows the Daniel Pink's opening keynote of the IB America's Conference in Quebec last week 'A New Mind for a New World'

In his excellent and inspiring presentation Dan extolled the teaching profession not to attempt to prepare today's youth for the jobs of the past, and to encourage our pupils to become 'multi's' able to cope with the choices and challenges that will face them throughout their working lives.

Even as a pretty hard-boiled web head I believe that we need to ensure most of all that what we teach our pupils is relevant and that more tech is not always the answer, rigour and academic endeavour will enable us to help produce those multi's, the addition of well used i.e. technically invisible tech will enable us to add a dimension which will help to equip our pupils for the 21st Century.
As teachers and educators our need to is subtly allow our teaching DNA to embrace the 'brave new world'. However I still firmly believe that to do this the technology must become invisible in the classroom, allowing it to just be the way you work - in the DNA.
I know that towards the end of my time in the classroom the technology we used in the classroom became the way we worked blogs ( Classblogmeister and blogger) and podcasting as far as I was concerned were just additional tools to enable my pupils to write and present their work orally.... the tech (laptop, camera's, video, audio etc)I hope just became invisible.

There is another issue which also arises from Dan Pink's presentation, we still appear to think that we teachers are in the best position to advise pupils about the world of work.... however if you ask many entrepreneurs such as Sir Richard Branson, Sergey Brin or Steve Jobs, my guess would be that they trod their own 'new' path and while I realise of course that this can't be true for the rest of us however a quick look at Karl Fisch's seminal work 'Did You Know; Shift Happens - Globalization; Information Age'from 2007 would surely show us that we cannot possibly know now the skill set that the coming generations will need .... apart from the ability to be multi's.

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