Know What? Why?

New York Times illustration by Viktor Koen

Here’s an article by former Harvard President Lawrence Summers. It was tucked into the Education Life section of the January 22, 2012 issue, so you may have missed it.

Summers is attempting to change the debate. Some key ideas:

1. Getting information is now the easy part. Twenty-first century education ought to be about processing and contextualizing information.

2. Processing and contextualizing leads to collaboration.

3. New technology allows the best teachers to be connected to every student. Everything else seems to be clutter.

4. Despite best efforts on the interactive side, most learning is passive: watch, listen, learn. Active learning is the future, but we’re just beginning to understand how and why.

5. Learn a language. Travel the world. Be global.

6. Education must shift from information dissemination to analysis.

Although he’s on the elitist side, the ideas make sense. The complete article isn’t long, but it does present ideas worth pondering.

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