Friday, May 24, 2013

Stop Stealing Dreams

Seth Godin recently posted a link to this TEDxYouth talk he gave in 2012 on the future of education. If you've got 17 minutes, watch the whole thing below:

Here are his eight suggestions for making the future of education more relevant and valuable to our technological and globalized world:

1. Homework during the day, lectures during the night. A world-lecturer shares their best talk in the evening, and you sit down with a face-to-face teacher during the day to process and ask questions about the information given.

2. Open book, open note, all the time. "There is zero value in memorizing anything ever again. Anything that is worth memorizing is worth looking up."

3. Access to any course, anywhere, any time you want to take it. "This notion that we have to do things in a certain order, which is based on physical location and chronology, makes no sense."

4. Precise, focused education instead of mass production. No more multiple choice exams. We would measure experience instead of test scores. This means the end of compliance as an outcome or goal.

5. Cooperation instead of isolation. Why do we do anything where we ask people to do it all by themselves, when we're always asking people work together and cooperate in the real world?

6. Teacher's role transforms into coach.

7. Lifelong learning with work happening earlier in your life.

8. The death of the "famous college." Not a good college; a famous one. It's become like an educational popularity contest or brand name, and this needs to end.

My initial thoughts from the perspective of youth ministry and discipleship:

I absolutely love #4-#7. Having a personalized discipleship program, where adults become the guides and advocates for young people (as opposed to Sunday school teachers or event coordinators), makes so much more sense to me in our mosaic-like world of nuance and wonder (#4, #6). One of my personal values is to be a lifelong learner (#7), and I believe growth best happens in the context and messiness of community (#5). Number 3 feels a bit humanistic and consumeristic to me, and #2 seems to negate the value of focusing and meditating on anything in order to memorize it, such as Scripture. While I understand that the "famous" college of #8 needs to disappear, many of these "famous" colleges are that way because...well...they've developed a reputation for being great at educating people.

What might be some of the implications for our youth ministries and discipleship methods if we embraced Godin's ideas?

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