Will Richardson begins with this quote when discussing the world of education we are faced with as educational leaders. He emphasizes the "age of foolishness" as something we must now consider as we try to make our system simply "better," in the midst of so much abundance, rather than "different." This video echoes much of what he addresses in his book, Why School? Our classroom teachers and school leaders should stop trying to be the authority of learning, but simply shift their roles to that of facilitators who help to personalize the education of their students with an abundance of information online. No more archaic curriculum content that doesn’t keep the students inspired and prepared for globalization.
In this video, Richardson poses the difficult question: What is the value of school at moment when we don’t really need school, since schools haven’t kept up with the shifting technologies and abundance of information? The sad answer to the question, in my opinion, is that the current model for education isn't that valuable to students or the business world. Policymakers, for the most part, are not educators and aren’t allowing our voices to be heard, as school leaders. Those same politicians are caught up in complacency. Inertia, as explained in Isaac Newton's First Law of Motion, is a resistance to change, and that's what is happening in our current model. We need to shift the emotional response to change with teachers who are resistant to change so that they are excited to join the emerging culture and help excite students. The authoritative, mechanistic view of teaching must be broken down so that true educators, in today’s world, are seen as learners with the students, and not teachers. No one has the authority when no one can predict the change that is taking place on an exponential rate.
I like how Richardson challenges that our broken system's discrete set of assessments are grossly misused. We (as a system) are so caught up in a world of measurable outcomes that we miss the immeasurable things, such as character-building, socializing, increase in personal perseverance. Yet, outside of the school setting, our students are embracing the shift of the emerging culture. For our schools to keep up with our students' world of emergence, we need less focus on content, and more focus on inquiry. Content is simply there as a guiding tool for what once was the foremost authority in classrooms, but can lead to students investigating more complex solutions in an abundant online environment.
Richardson discusses the fact that everyone in the world has the ability to be a journalist in that they can contribute real-time information that competes with the world's leading journalism models. With people embracing such abundance of information and ability, driven by technology, we are moving from the outdated system (such as old music records) to unlimited potential (such as the emergence of Spotify for music access). It's time for schools to do the same, and that starts with us, as leaders in our own classrooms.
Education Leadership: Will Richardson at TEDxMelbourne (2012 Sep 2). Retrieved from https://goo.gl/kapfov