Situating a Mutation: A Global Learning Ecology Proposal

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Abstract:[edit | edit source]

The hierarchical, managerial, and corporate controlled curricular structures of the "school" are not adequate to meet the challenges faced by the worlds young people in the twenty-first century. Further, the one hundred year absence of systemic change in education provides an environment that is ripe for a Mutation in learning. This argument is cogent in education as only now, in 2010 do we see some meaningful consensus on educational change beginning to solidify, for instance around the need for computers in learning to address the 21st century skills of finding leveraging, synthesizing, collaborating and problem solving with information (Hayes Jacobs ed. 2010, Bonk, 2009, Davidson and Goldberg, 2009). This new and still growing consensus occurs while the bulk of school and curricular policy remains dangerously static (Apple, 2010, Darling Hammond, 2010) and rooted in what Apple, Au, and Gandin (2009, p.3) have called "the ideological and institutional processes and forms that reproduce oppressive conditions". The realization that educational systems are harmfully unresponsive to needed change raises in importance when considering that our world systems are in decline and globalization operates without regard for much of the worlds cultures (Apple, ed. 2010). Our interdependent world calls for a deliberative, culturally conscious, and collaborative generation. With this in mind the future role of learning as a change agent has never been more important. In this article I will propose a new learning ecology that redefines rather than refines the design of education on a global scale. This initiative is grounded in the seminal work of critical educators (James Beane, 1995,1996; Michael Apple, 1990,1996, 2009, 2010, Boulding,1988), Networked Learning mavericks (George Siemens, Steven Downes, Alec Curousa, Graham Atwell, Leigh Blackall), Learning Scientists (R. Kieth Sawyer, Joseph S. Krajcik and Phyllis C. Blumenfeld, Barry J. Fishman and Elizabeth Davis, 2006; Seymore Papert, 1993, 1994, 1996), and learners themselves. The time for a mutation in education has come. As the world realizes ecological overshoot (Catton Jr., 1980; McKibben 2006, 2010), systemic global social crisis (UN millennium Development Goals, 2010; ICISS, 2001), and the exponential growth in global connectivity, education can and _must_ help catalyze a new global civic culture through the radical restructuring of how we design and enable learning in our world.

Full Resource (including all references) here soon! Steelemaley 18:31, 2 June 2011 (UTC)