Fish anyone?

I am just returning from the Plymouth E-Learning Conference (PeLC) in Cornwall wich was very inspiring for me.

After an outstanding keynote by Shelly Terell there was a plenary session with Shelly Terell, John Davitt, Andy J. Black and Peter Yeomans hosted by Steve Wheeler.

A question that got stuck in my mind was “How are we going to teach children what they need for the future?”.

In my opinion the answer is pretty simple: “We can’t!”

Andy Black said that there is going to be more change during the next 10 years than during the last 100 years. And he is probably right. Nobody saw the changes coming that happend the last years. 10 years ago, nobody thought of the success Facebook had.

In times where we have no idea how the world looks like in 10 years, how could we possible think we know what children need in their life? I’d say we can’t!

But …

… what we CAN do is to prepare children to be able to compete with challenges that life throws at them. We can teach them to experiment, explore, fight and think creatively. That should be all it takes to tackle pretty much any problem. At least it is what it took us so far.

In order to teach these abilities the focus has to shift from the content to learning principles. Instead of teacheing them a certain topic, we should rather go ahead and teach them how to learn what they need on their own. This way we can be sure that they will be able to gain the knowledge they’ll need not only to design our and their future, but also to teach it to their children for their future.

Big fish

This kind of reminds me on an old chinese saying:

“Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today.  Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime”
—Author unknown
What do you think? What is your opinion? Can we define what’s important for children in their future? Let me know and add a comment.

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