First of all I want to thank my readers for their feedback - via several (social) media - on my previous blog. This blog was inspired on Chris Crawford’s idea of a god who determines every detail versus a god who deals in rules and principles. Both gods of course are personifications of visions on reality and on virtual realities - personifications and story-telling can be used in communication in order to make it easier to comprehend complicated situations.
I applied these visions on education. On the one hand we have traditional education which determines in detail what a student should learn. This way of education relies strongly on control. If something goes wrong the first reflex is to enforce more control. On the other hand we have education that allows a less controllable dynamic learning-environment; a learning-environment that is not restricted to the classroom and books but also allows a role for the ‘real’ world and internet.
There was consensus among readers that a study should start with a quite controlled learning environment in combination with quite detailed assessment. This guaranties a level of knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes. Then - as the student develops - he should have more liberty and expand his learning environment thus making it more dynamic. That means that can learn everywhere and from anything.
This combination of ‘deterministic’ and ‘free will’ learning comes remarkably close to the current situation in higher education! Apparently it is not successful to choose for one of the gods, it is better to serve both.
During his study a student gains more and more freedom. But what do most students do with this freedom? They don’t study at all. A lot of students in the final year of their study finish many of the projects they started in previous years; not because they now suddenly are more interested in the subject, but because they really have to finish it now.
After his study a student is even completely free to choose what to study. Life Long Learning is a good idea, but how many people do you know who choose to spend their time on learning instead of on spending time on hobbies or with family and friends?
Most people do not study because they want to but because they have to. But developing your knowledge, skills and attitude is a safe way to develop your professional career in the direction that you want. Then you are in charge of your life and this will make you feel free and happy. Therefore it is important to know what you want and are capable of.
Therefore the ideal school does not only help a student to develop his knowledge, attitude and skills but also makes him aware of he wants and is capable of. The ideal school teaches the student how to give direction to his career and balance this with his private life, how to find balance what he wants and what he can.