We don’t need no education

One highlight of the ULearn conference for me this year was one of Mark Osborne’s breakouts that I attended. As part of this, he posed the question – why do kids need to go to school? He discussed how we can learn everything from how to play the guitar on YouTube to online university courses from the likes of Harvard and MIT without leaving home. So why bother with school, as our access to such a wide variety of knowledge continues to grow and grow?

The discussion within the room was lively, resulting in some insights such as the following. Schools remain relevant  for:

  • Developing the ‘soft skills’ or key competencies at the front of the NZC.
  • Teaching collaboration.
  • Allowing for face to face connections with fellow learners and mentors.
  • Building the capacity to become discerning learners.
  • Providing a learning community.
  • Teaching students to become innovative and entrepreneurial.

So it seems that schools need to ensure they are less about the transfer of knowledge, and more about competency development and a community of learners to remain a necessary part of the education landscape.


4 thoughts on “We don’t need no education

  1. Yes I agree Emma that schools still have their place but the structure and the way things are done certainly has changed. There are so many relationship skills that are developed in a community of learners that will be necessary for children to develop at school before they tackle life as an adult…so we will still need schools. It again highlights how important the role of the teacher and the sort of teacher that they are. Hope term 4 is a great one and your new principal is a fan!

  2. Great topic to discuss isn’t it? Imagine if we couldn’t justify why schools are necessary! I’m sure there would be some students who would suggest just that!
    However, one key part that school provides is feedback. Learners need expert feedback about their learning. While the technology is there to allow students to work/learn online, the teacher plays a critical part in the cycle through feedback.

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