Thursday, April 28, 2011

Aligning school to the way we were born to learn

Born to Learn is a cool site I recently came across that was created because our current systems of education aren’t doing enough to unlock our true potential. On the site they feature several video animations (and they’re working hard on more) to sum up over 20 years’ of rigorous and complex research in a way that’s accessible and easy to understand.


Here is the sites intro video which is just a terrific conversation starter for educators, parents, and students.

Born to Learn from Born to Learn on Vimeo.


The majority of the material collected on the site is taken from the book Overschooled but Undereducated which synthesizes an array of research and shows how these insights can contribute to a better understanding of human learning, especially as this relates to adolescence. As explained on the site, by mis-understanding teenagers’ instinctive need to do things for themselves, society is in danger of creating a system of schooling that so goes against the natural grain of the adolescent brain that formal education ends up unintentionally trivializing the very young people it claims to be supporting. By failing to keep up with appropriate research in the biological and social sciences, current educational systems continue to treat adolescence as a problem rather than an opportunity.

This book is about the need for transformational change in education. It synthesizes an array of research from both the physical and social sciences and shows how these insights can contribute to a better understanding of human learning, especially as this relates to adolescence.

The intention of the book and the site is to shake education out of its two-century’s-old inertia because they say, if a generation fails, the fault lies squarely with the previous generation for not equipping them well enough for the changes ahead.

1 comment:

  1. Meh. While I agree with all this in principle, it concerns me when I see videos like the one above that oversimplify and make broad sweeping statements about stuff like this. Not ALL kids are bored, not ALL adolescents are naturally rebellious, and while the Ice Age thing is a nice theory, it's way oversimplified in the reasoning it gives.

    I'm all for school changing... it should and it must. But I'm getting a bit tired of hearing how different today's kids' brains are because we can now use fMRI ro see inside them. fMRI was only invented in the past 25 years, so who knows how kids' brains were wired before that.

    Too many flaws in this argument.

    ReplyDelete

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