It's your world to shape may 2013


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  • Cuba 1963 , SUEZ 1957
  • Great ape, stone age chap and babylonian.
  • Remember to mention the Babylonians!!!
  • Not a nice chap!
  • It's your world to shape may 2013

    1. 1. The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.orgHow to use this presentation;The set of slides which follow form the basis for some 18presentations made in British Columbia in the latter part of April2013.Those with an asterisk were sometimes missed out, and those fromnumber 69 onwards were selectively used depending on the interestsof the audience.Slides 1 – 16 form a personal introduction.Slides 17 – 34 provide a summary of the brain as a learning organismSlides 35 – 48 show the relationship between culture and nurtureSlides 49 – 51 show the conflict between natural learning and political expectationsSlides 52 – 58 explore the political dilemmaSlides 59 to whatever point the presentation ends – including the reserve slidesNb. Slides 2, 65 and 66 are embedded animations, each of which needs a second clickto activate
    2. 2. British ColumbiaApril,2013John Abbott, President, The 21st Century Learning InitiativeIt’s your world to shape, notjust to take.1The 21st Century Learning Initiative
    3. 3. 2The 21st Century Learning Initiative
    4. 4. We have not inherited this worldfrom our parents,we have been loaned it by ourchildren.Chief Seatle : late 19th centuryThe 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.org3
    5. 5. “The task is not so much to see whatno one has yet seen, but to thinkwhat nobody yet has thought aboutthat which everybody sees.”Schopenhauer, 1788-18604
    6. 6. What do you think you see?5
    7. 7. The Troubled World of 2013• There are now two and a half times as many people on the Earth’s surfaceas when I was born just before the outbreak of World War Two.• At the most recent count, about 7,000 people (One hundred millionth of theworld’s population) owns more than over 3 billion people, (just under half thepopulation).• 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day.• The richest 20% of the world’s population receives 75% of the world’sincome while the poorest 40% receive only 5% or the world’s income.• Of the world’s largest 150 economic entities, 95 are corporations (63.3%).Wal-Mart, with revenue of $287.99 billion, is the largest corporation onthe planet, and ranks number 22 on the list. The United States is theworld’s largest economy with a total economic output in 2004 of$11,667,515,000,000.The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.orgA7
    8. 8. David Suzuki, internationally renowned British Columbian geneticist andenvironmentalist, born 1936......believes that “human intelligence and foresight got us into our present pickle byenabling us to invent such efficient ways of exploiting Nature that our populationgrowth went into overdrive. Now human intelligence and foresight are all we canrely on to see us through the tight bottleneck we are fast approaching – thatnarrowing chasm where far too many people are faced with far too little food and,very possibly, far too little air.The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.org8
    9. 9. “If civilisation is to survive itmust live on the interest, notthe capital, of nature.Ecological markers suggestthat in the early 1960’s, humans wereusing 70% of nature’s yearly output; bythe early 1980’s we’d reached 100%; andin 1999 we were at 125%”Ronald WrightA Short History of Progress (2004)9
    10. 10. We each see the world from our own perspective.The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.orgAnd did those feet in ancient time.Walk upon England’s mountains green:And was the holy Lamb of God,On England’s pleasant pastures seen!Here is mine:my parents grew up in middleEngland in the 20s and 30sI was born as Britain wentto war with Germany andbombs fell near my home10
    11. 11. My adolescence, and the developmentof a Broad Mind“The essential skill is to develop the ability to learn.However you can’t learn how to learn withoutlearning something. It is much easier to measurewhat you have learnt than it is to measure how youlearnt it... Examination results alone don’t prove thatyou can think straight.”The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.orgDerek Pitt, Teacher in the 1950s of A Level History and English, akeen musician and student of Medieval Art – and cricket coach“The roots of civilisation are twelveinches deep; discuss”(Oxbridge Scholarship question)12
    12. 12. University, and the enthusiasm tocreate a better worldRhumexpedition1959Gometraexpedition1962University Maiden Eight 1961The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.org14
    13. 13. From leader of expeditions to beinga HeadmasterThe 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.org16
    14. 14. So began my search to understandhuman learningThe 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.org17
    15. 15. The human race is theplanet’s pre-eminent learningspecies – it is our brains thatgive us our superiority, notour muscles.The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.org18
    16. 16. The 21st Century Learning Initiative“The Initiative will facilitate the emergence of newapproaches to learning that draw upon a rangeof insights into the human brain, thefunctioning of human societies, and learning asa community-wide activity.”Washington DC1995 onwardsThe 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.org19
    17. 17. The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.orgOver 800 lectures……in over 40 countries20
    18. 18. The Descent of MankindStudies in genetics suggest that the split with the GreatApes occurred seven million years ago. At twenty years toa generation that is three hundred and fifty thousandgenerations ago, at a minute a generation, this isequivalent to the minutes we are, on average, awake forin a year.In all that time the genetic structure of us humans differsfrom the Great apes by less than 2%.Stone Age Man, on this scale, appeared 60 hours (two anda half days), while Modern Man, Homo Sapiens appearedsome thirty hours ago, inAfrica, or equivalent to one and a halfdays ago.Each of us is a result of all that evolution.The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.org21
    19. 19. Mothers and babies need protection for years –hence the need for long term bonding.The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.org23
    20. 20. The growth of synapses during the first6 monthsThe 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.orgNot until the child isabout three years olddoes it’s brain reach 95%of structural completion(that does not mean ithas finished its growth -far from it for further development involvesremoving part of the young brain to enable it tobecome more complex)24
    21. 21. “Tell me and I forget;show me and Iremember; let medo, and I understand.”Confucius, 551-479 BCThe 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.orgHow do we learn?25
    22. 22. The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.orgProbably the earliestrepresentation of intellectualthought was the boneuncovered in France some 15years ago, covered with a seriesof images that archaeologistsand astrophysicists haveidentified as the phases of themoon over a number of nightsas observed from that latitude32,000 years ago (c. 1,600generations back.26
    23. 23. Babylonian Mathematicians5,500 years ago (c. 270generations ago)The mathematics of space:60 seconds to a minute,60 minutes to a degree,360 degrees to a circle...The 21st Century Learning Initiative 27
    24. 24. Polynesia...together with their understandingof the different ocean currentscontaining waters of significantlydifferent temperature and shoals ofdifferent kinds of fish. The skill to dothis is something modern man canonly wonder at...Apparently the islands ofPolynesia began to becolonised some 1500 yearsago by people who navigatedentirely on their ability to usethe stars as a chart...The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.org28
    25. 25. Evolution in BrainUntil the early 19th Century the very best estimateof the age of the earth had been made in the mid17th Century which had calculated from the book ofGenesis that the earth had been formed at 4pm onthe 22nd October 4,004 BC. Findings in geology inthe late 18th Century suggested that it really had tobe several million years ago.Sixty years later in The Origin of Species, Darwinsaid, “it is not the strongest of the species thatsurvives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one mostadaptable to change.”Biology at the time lacked any technology thatenabled it to study the structure of the brain at ascale which could show synaptic development. ButDarwin guessed, “psychology will be based on anew foundation, that of the necessary requirementof each mental power and capacity by gradation(evolution). Light will [then] be thrown on theorigin’s of Man and his history.”The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.org29
    26. 26. “Human beings did not fall readymade from the sky. Many of ourabilities and susceptibilities arespecific adaptations to ancientenvironmental problems ratherthan separate manifestations of ageneral intelligence for allseasons.” (Barrow, 1996)The 21st Century Learning Initiative“The human mind is better equipped to gatherinformation about the world by operating within itthan by reading about it, hearing lectures on it, orstudying abstract models of it.” (Santa Fee Institute, 1995)Now, in 2013, we understand...31
    27. 27. “Historical evidence is plentiful forthe first couple of hundred years,then rapidly diminishes. At the5,000 year mark visible recordsdisappear altogether. At the15,000 year stage humans beganto settle down. Go back to the50,000 year mark and it seemedthat our slowly evolving ancestorsstarted to show the first signs ofmodern human behaviour.”The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.org32
    28. 28. The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.orgThree different traditions1) The Judaic-Christian tradition of self improvement, the Book ofEcclesiastes says, “of the writing of books there is no end, andmuch study wearies the mind” (approximately 800BC)2) Platonic Thought proposed that philosophers and rulers wereborn with gold in their blood, warriors were born with silver intheir blood and farmers and labourers were born with lead. Hebelieved that nothing in a person’s life could change their status.(428-348BC)3) The Roman belief in rote learning andthe forcible injection of learning throughthe classroom35
    29. 29. This began to change slowlyThe 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.orgRoger Ascham, tutor to Queen Elizabeth I and a renowned classicalscholar, sat down in Windsor Castle in the late 1560s to write thefirst book in English on education, called The Scholemaster aimedat correcting the faults of traditional Roman education.Firstly, he urged cultivation of what he called ‘Hard-Wits’ ratherthan superficial ‘Quick-Wits’ of those whose memories weregood, but who couldn’t work things out for themselves. “Because Iknow that those which be commonly the wisest, the mostlearned, the best men also, when they be old, were nevercommonly the quickest of wits when they were young.”Secondly, he urged teachers to be more gentle with their studentsand warned them against what he called ‘the Butchery of Laten’ –go easy on the birch he was saying, for children who only learnbecause they are frightened, gain nothing.36
    30. 30. Thirdly, Ascham urged that “in the attainment ofwisdom, learning from a book or from a teacher is twentytimes as effective as learning from experience because it is anunhappy mariner who learnt his craft from manyshipwrecks.”Why this extraordinary explanation?“I was once in Italy myself, but Ithanked God that my abode there wasbut nine days. I saw in that littletime, in one city, more liberty to Sinthan ever I saw in our noble city ofLondon in nine years.”Consequently Ascham piously definedthe indisputable role of the schoolmaster as a censor of what theirstudents should learn.The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.org37
    31. 31. Behaviourism and JB WatsonThe 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.orgJB Watson (1878-1958), denied that evolutionhas any part to play in the understanding of thehuman brain. It was all to do with therelationship between what a teacher putin, and what a child observed. He believed thatlearning should become something thatschools did to you, and quality instruction asbeing infinitely more important thanencouraging students to think for themselves.He believed that children’s minds were putty tobe shaped by well-trained teachers... (theshadow of this thinking has deadened thatimagination of millions of children andfrustrated a large number of teachers).38
    32. 32. Einstein disagreed profoundly“It is almost a miracle thatmodern teaching methodshave not yet entirelystrangled the holy curiosityof enquiry; for what thisdelicate little plant needsmore than anything, besidesstimulation, is freedom.”Albert Einstein, 1889 - 1955The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.org39
    33. 33. In the 1980s cognitivescience, began drawing uponneurobiology began to underminethe claims of the behaviourists“Learning does not require timeout from productive activity;learning is at the heart ofproductive activity”Shoshana Zuboff, 1988The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.org40
    34. 34. (Professor) Baroness Susan GreenfieldThe 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.orgSUSAN GREENFIELD CBE is an eminent neurobiologistwho was appointed Director of The Royal Institution inLondon in 1998. Since 1996 she has been Professor ofPharmacology at the University of Oxford. Her researchconcentrates on understanding brain functions anddisorders, such as Parkinsons and Alzheimersdiseases, as well as the physical basis of consciousness.She has also spoken out about the impact of socialnetworking sites and the amount of time children andyoung people spend in front of computer screens.Her most serious warning: “By the middle of thiscentury, our minds might have become infantilised -characterised by short attention spans, an inability toempathise and a shaky sense of identity,”41
    35. 35. AdolescenceA Tribe Apart ?The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.org42
    36. 36. “The complexities of our minds and bodies bearwitness to a long history of subtle adaptation to thenatural world by our innumerable ancestors.Literally every child is born with a mind and bodythat recreates the imprint of the history of ourspecies.”Neural Darwinism (Gerald Edelman 1987)or the grain of the brain44The 21st Century Learning Initiative
    37. 37. Crazy by DesignWe have long suspected that there issomething going on in the brain of theadolescent, apparently involuntarily, that isforcing apart the child/parent relationship.Adolescence is a period of profoundstructural change, in fact “the changes takingplace in the brain during adolescence are soprofound, they may rival early childhood as acritical period of development”, wroteBarbara Strauch in 2003.“The teenage brain, far from beingreadymade, undergoes a period ofsurprisingly complex and crucialdevelopment. The adolescent brain is crazyby design.”The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.org45
    38. 38. Becoming AdultFrom the earliest of times the progressionfrom dependent child to autonomous adulthas been an issue of critical importance to allsocieties.The adolescent brain, being “crazy by design,”could be a critical evolutionary adaptation thathas built up over countless generations, and isessential to our species’ survival. It isadolescence that drives human developmentby forcing young people in every generation tothink beyond their own self-imposedlimitations and exceed their parents’aspirations. These neurological changes in theyoung brain as it transforms itself means thatadolescents have evolved to be apprentice-likelearners, not pupils sitting at desks awaitinginstruction.The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.org200246
    39. 39. FlowNeuroscientists, together with psychologists andevolutionary scientists are starting to “show thatyoungsters who are empowered as adolescents totake charge of their own futures will make bettercitizens for the future than did so many of theirparents and their grandparents who suffered frombeing overschooled but undereducated in theirown generations.”“Students who get the most out of school, andhave the highest future expectations, are thosewho find school more play-like than work-like.The 21st Century Learning Initiative“Clear vocational goals and good work experiences do not guarantee asmooth transition to adult work. Engaging activities – with intenseinvolvement regardless of content – are essential for building theoptimism and resilience crucial to satisfying work lives.”199747
    40. 40. Don’t Fence Me In – Cole Porter, 1934Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above,Dont fence me in.Let me ride through the wide open country that I love,Dont fence me in.Let me be by myself in the evenin breeze,And listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees,Send me off forever but I ask you please,Dont fence me in.The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.org48
    41. 41. “Our enormously productive economy...demands that we make consumptionour way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, thatwe seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego-satisfaction, in consumption... Weneed things consumed, burned up, replaced and discarded at an everaccelerating rate.” quoted in ‘The Waste Makers’, 1960On September 14th 2011, halfa century later, the largestshopping centre in Europe –Westfield Stratford – wasopened as the only gateway tothe Olympic Park of 2012; infloor area it is 20 times that ofSt Paul’s Cathedral.‘British family life is in crisis’proclaimed the Telegraph lastweek. ‘It is parents who are toblame who by working like pitponies to house our offspring,feed them and keep them in with the latest digital cameras and micros scooters, it seems we havecreated a generation of miserable children who are wallowing in materialism. We spend £7.3 billionon toys in childrens bedrooms, when what they really need is to play outside with friends and family.49The 21st Century Learning Initiative
    42. 42. “If civilisation is to survive it must live on the interest, not the capital, ofnature. Ecological markers suggest that in the early 1960’s, humans wereusing 70% of nature’s yearly output; by the early 1980’s we’d reached100%; and in 1999 we were at 125%.” A Short History of Progress, 2004The Ultimate Ecological Crisis50The 21st Century Learning Initiative
    43. 43. Asked on 1st January 2000 what chance he gave the worldof surviving the next thousand years, Sir Martin Rees, theAstronomer Royal and later President of the Royal Societysaid; “I’m not sure about the next millennium but I think Igive us a 50/50 chance of surviving the next hundredyears. I fear that the speed of man’s technologicaldiscoveries is outpacing our wisdom and ability to controlwhat we have discovered…”When our first granddaughter was born a yearago, our doctor said with great pleasure “shehas a 25 % chance of living to the age of 100”.For her to do that we have to educate the nextgeneration to bring technological knowledgeand wisdom together.51The 21st Century Learning Initiative
    44. 44. So What Now?Formal schooling, therefore, has to start adynamic process through which students areprogressively weaned from their dependenceon teachers and institutions, and given theconfidence to manage their ownlearning, collaborating with colleagues asappropriate, and using a range of resourcesand learning situations.The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.org52
    45. 45. Subsidiarity“It is wrong for a superior tokeep to itself the right of makingdecisions for which an inferior isperfectly capable of doing for itself.”The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.org53
    46. 46. The Political Dilemma“Much to my surprise I can’t really fault yourtheory. You are probably educationally right;certainly your argument is ethically correct.But the system you’re arguing for would requirevery good teachers. We’re not convinced thatthere will ever be enough good teachers. So,instead, we’re going a teacher-proof system oforganising schools for that way we can get auniform standard.” Verbatim report of conclusions of presentationmade to the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit,Westminster March 1996The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.org55
    47. 47. The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.org56
    48. 48. It has been the lack of real understanding abouteducation and learning amongst teachers thathas allowed successive governments to bully theprofession. Teachers undoubtedly need tounderstand the theory of learning. Deprived of areal understanding of both pedagogy and policythey are simply parroting the latest curriculumdirectives.The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.org57
    49. 49. The problem is one of SynthesisSynthesis is the drawing together of ideas, whereas theessential Western tradition of education is reductionism– reducing complex issues to easily studied separatebits. The problem with that is that it becomes ever moredifficult to see the Big Picture.Have you a mind big enough to get around all theseissues and tease out the common threads?“Education is the ability to perceive the hiddenconnections between disparate phenomena”(Vaclav Havel, 2000)The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.org58
    50. 50. Time is going by"The biggest crisis we are facing is a Crisis of Meaning. Thetremendous social changes of the last 100 years have strippedmodern society of that which gives us meaning be it in our roots toour ancestors, religions, spirituality, our relationship to nature......Within this Crisis of Meaning our young people are facing a MORALcrisis - a crisis of values. Without these anchors young people nolonger understand the value of perseverance, learning for learningssake etc.. Instead our daily lives are filled with a pursuit of moneyand temporary ecstasy. Both of these goals areunfulfillable and result in a misguided frenzy in thepursuit of the next thrill, or in depression.E-mail from Dr Rolando Jubis, Psychologist and CounselorJakarta International School, 11/11/00The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.org59
    51. 51. ...fears that the ever-growing disconnection of the human race fromthe rest of nature is a “link that is not only being diminished, it isbeing completely eliminated for the first time in the history of ourspecies. This is going to change the world in a horrible way: whatkind of parents are these zombies going to grow up to be, if theygrow up?”RobertBateman:BritishColumbianpainter,conservationist,andphilanthropist(born 1930) ...The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.org60
    52. 52. Upon this gifted age, in its dark hour,Rains from the sky a meteoric showerOf facts....They lie unquestioned, uncombined.Wisdom enough to leech us of our illIs daily spun, but there exists no loomTo weave it into fabric.Edna St. Vincent Millay "Huntsman, What Quarry"The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.org61
    53. 53. “There is a tide in the affairs of menwhich, taken at the flood, leads on tofortune...” The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.org62
    54. 54. “...But omitted, and the voyage of their lifeis bound in shallows and miseries...”The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.org63
    55. 55. “... On such a full sea are we now afloat, and wemust take the current when it serves -- or lose theventures before us.”William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act 4, Scene 3The 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.org64
    56. 56. 65The 21st Century Learning Initiative
    57. 57. 66The 21st Century Learning Initiative
    58. 58. John Abbott, Presidentjohnabbott@21learn.orgwww.born-to-learn.orgwww.21learn.orgwww.responsiblesubversives.orgThe 21st Century Learning Initiative -www.21learn.org67