From David Warlick at 2 Cents Worth in response to a posting from Doug Johnson yesterday about the number of jobs he has held. David really gets at what teaching is going to mean in the coming years: learning how to learn and unlearn, and knowing how to teach yourself to do things. People often state that they can’t keep up with what is going on out there because it changes too quickly. To combat that, we need to focus on knowing how to decipher meaning, teaching our students to pull out what is important, and teach them that learning is not, and should not be, something that happens solely in school.
In my efforts to understand what the labor department’s projections and my work experiences mean, within the context of school reform, I ask myself, “How did I learn…”
..to play guitar (bass & Banjo) and organ? I taught myself!
..to write software? I taught myself.
..to code web pages? I taught myself!
..to self-publish a book? I taught myself!
The schools that I attended in the 1950s and ’60s tried very hard to teach me how to be taught. I believe that this is one of the shifts that we have to achieve as we try to retool classrooms. We need to do less of..
teaching kids how to be taught,
teach them to teach themselves.
I think that the point is not that everyone is going to have 10.2 jobs between the ages of 18 and 38. Many of us will only have one job. But how many times will that one job change? 10.2 times? Perhaps not, but when it changes, who’s going to teach the new skills?
We need to stop teaching literacy, and teach learning literacy.
We need to stop teaching literacy skills, and teach literacy habits.
We need to stop thinking about lifelong learning, and instead, work toward every student leaving our schools with a learning lifestyle.
We need to be willing to take every piece of furniture our of our classrooms, clear the walls, burn it all, and start all over again. The world has changed that much.
Anything less is an insult to our children.