Published on January 31, 2008
ed4wb.org DID YOU EVER WONDER…
? We hear a lot of talk about education for the 21 st century.
. ? But what does that mean?
? What are the challenges students will face?
? Will it be a lack of material goods?
? Despite economic growth, genuine progress is in decline.
? Will it be a lack of data and information? It’s estimated that 40,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes of unique new information will be generated worldwide this year.
? Despite the explosive growth of information due to cable and internet, on average, today's citizens are about as aware of major news events as they were 20 years ago. Pew Research Center
? Is it simply a matter of having the right stuff in order to compete economically?
? And why is it always competition ? How about cooperation in the 21 st century? How sweet it is.
? Compared to cooperation , competition is less efficient, produces lower quality results and reduces the chance of peace among people.
? Fierce competition for profits, encourages environmental degradation.
? By keeping wages low, countries are “ competing to see which can stay the poorest the longest”.
? “ A competitive culture endures by tearing people down.” Jules Henry
? Maybe we need to change the way we look at: SUCCESS PROGRESS GROWTH WEALTH COMPETITION the FUTURE…
? What will students need to know? How will they need to think? How will they need to act? What will they need to value ?
? What we teach, matters.
? What they learn, matters even more.
? The hidden curriculum is a powerful thing.
Do we educate to strengthen our democracy ?
Or to strengthen our economy?
Should people serve the economy?
Or should the economy serve people?
“ One reason there seems to be such a consensus on education is that the economic rationale for schooling has triumphed.” New York Times
We are warned of tough economic times to come.
However, there is no mention of the unsustainability of our current economic system! “ With respect to meeting the needs of the future, contemporary business economics is the equivalent of pre-Copernican in this outlook.” Authors, Natural Capitalism
Capitalism as we've been practicing it is endangered. As we undermine nature's ability to provide us with its ecological services, we undermine businesses' ability to exist. Hunter Lovins In short, industrialism is over. Paul Hawken
Is preparing students to enter a system that is at war with itself really preparing them for the future?
“ We have lived by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We have been wrong.” Wendell Berry
Where do people and the planet fit in?
? "How is it we've created an economic system that tells us it is cheaper to destroy the earth and exhaust its people than to nurture them both? ” Lovinses, Hawken in Natural Capitalism
? The highest good of commercial enterprise is to use more natural resources while employing fewer people .
? This is in stark contrast with what needs to be done.
? In the 21 st century, we will have to use fewer natural resources while employing more people.
? 21 st century well-being will require the nurturing and valuing of : NATURAL CAPITAL HUMAN CAPITAL CULTURAL CAPITAL
? How are we doing? Are we educating with this in mind?
We teach about democracy but do we let students experience it? Do we give them the freedom to explore what interests them?
? Innocenti Report Card UNICEF What happens to kids’ natural curiosity? Why do only 23% of middle school students report “liking school a lot”?
? As they get older, kids like school less and less.
? Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them. Paul Hawken Are we managing our students’ natural curiosity?
? This will be On the test. “ That so few children seem to take pleasure from what they’re doing on a given weekday morning, that the default emotional state in classrooms seems to alternate between anxiety and boredom, doesn’t even alarm us.” Alfie Kohn
? The typical child in a US classroom has a 1-in-14 chance of learning in a rich, supportive environment.
? Fifth graders spend 91 percent of their time listening to the teacher or working alone, usually on low-level worksheets. Do questions 1 to 25
? 40% to 60% of students from all economic backgrounds are chronically disengaged from learning.
? 47 % of drop-outs said a major reason for dropping out was that classes were not interesting. 81 % said there should be more opportunities for real-world learning. 71 % said their schools did not do enough to make school interesting . 1 in 10 U.S. high schools is a ‘dropout factory’
? What happens to all those drop-outs?
? The US has quietly become the world’s largest penal colony. (China is no. 2)
? California spent $9.9 billion on its prison system in 2007, while only spending $3.3 billion on its state university system.
? “ There is no cost difference between incarceration and an Ivy League education: the main difference is the curriculum.” Amory Lovins
? We are “using too many resources to make too few people more productive .” Authors , Natural Capitalism As we…
? … hear about our kids having to compete in a flat world…
? … and a flat world it is becoming.
"In our time, great effort is being made to deny that there are any physical limits to our use of the earth or to the legitimacy of human wants." David W. Orr
? In schools we celebrate diversity.
? But how about bio diversity ?
? We celebrate the Declaration of Independence. But not the Declaration of Interdependence.
? "We have polluted or overexploited 2/3 of all ecosystems on which all life depends. The ability of these ecosystems to sustain future generations can no longer be taken for granted. What is the purpose of education if not for future generations?” Hunter Lovins
"In spite of what such signals as the GDP or the Dow Jones Industrial Average indicate, it is ultimately the capacity of the photosynthetic world and its nutrient flows that determine the quality and quantity of life on earth .” Authors, Natural Capitalism "We steal the future and sell it in the present and call it GDP." Paul Hawken Cyanide Leach Pit Mining, Peru
With this gold mine, a country’s GDP goes up. It’s ability to sustain life: down. Cyanide Leach Pit Mining, Peru
We’ve educated economists, engineers and investors to believe that their well-being has nothing to do with the well-being of their planet. , Peru Cyanide Leach Pit Mining, Cajamarca Peru Mountains, Cajamarca Peru Before After
? In the 21 st century, we’ll need to educate about the value of natural capital . “ We have reached a point where the value we add to our economy is now being out-weighed by the value we are removing.” Paul Hawken
? In biological terms, we have become a parasite and are devouring our host. Paul Hawken
? "Most of our mistakes were a result of hurry in the name of economic competition, or national security, or progress." David W. Orr
? Education has neglected to notice that all wealth , is ultimately, a product of a healthy environment.
? 21st century learning will have to include 20 th century unlearning. It’s not that we need new ideas, it’s that we need to stop having old ones. Edwin Land
? The problems of the 21 st century will require integrative education.
? What does the future hold?
? “ I believe that clean technology, green technology, is going to be the growth industry of the 21st century.” Spoken by: Thomas Friedman, Author of The World is Flat
? “ Mom, Dad, tell your kids: Anything green is going to have a great job associated with it.” Thomas Friedman, Author of The World is Flat “ Now, wouldn’t we want to lead the growth industry of the 21st century?”
? Do our schools teach green? Do they act green? If not, what does that teach? The hidden curriculum is powerful thing.
DID YOU EVER WONDER… ? “ Ultimately, then, the ecological crisis has to do with how we think and with the institutions that purport to shape and refine the capacity to think. The ecological crisis, in other words, is a crisis of education, not one in education; tinkering won't do.” David W. Orr
Learn more: www.ed4wb.org references available at: http://www.ed4wb.org Education for Well-being Copyright info: http://creativecommons.org/
Photo Credits Boy, Girl – Herbert French Rat race – Refracted Moments (flickr) Bridge collapse – eb78 (flickr) Protesters – dblackadder (flickr) Smog – Anna and Andy (flickr) Train Beijing – pmorgan (flickr) Smoke stack – Señor Codo (flickr) Sweatshop – dblackadder (flickr) Sweatshop 2 – dblackadder (flickr) Poor girl doorway – beppe_tapeless film (flickr) Girl (daughter of field worker) – Dorothea Lange Bulldozer – bionicteaching (flickr) No Trespassing Sign – Matt Callahan (flickr) Children in dump – Ahron de Leeuw (flickr) Coal Mine China – Wolfiewolf (flickr) Spinner Girl – Lewis Hine Clear-cut – Finsthwait (flickr) Stacked logs – iangbl (flickr) Boy Bangalore – babasteve (flickr) Thanks to the people who shared their photos under various creative commons licenses. Peruvian women – angela 7 dreams (flickr) Slash and burn – jami dwyer (flickr) Fireworks – INTVGene (flickr) Slash and burn 2 – World Resources Institute Staff (flickr) Papermill (in valley) – pmorgan (flickr) Peruvian mountains – Brad Smith Gold mine – Bill Farren Pipes Gold Mine (cyanide solution) – Brad Smith Parasitic backhoe – Bill Farren Stump on beach – Patis Moment in Time (flickr) Reef – World Resources Institute Staff (flickr) Tidepools – jurvetson (flickr) Silos – destinelee (flickr) Fruit – The Wandering Angel (flickr) Fish and Rod – anglerp1 (flickr) Wood Table – Ross Angus (flickr) Thomas Friedman – Charles Haynes (flickr)
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