This is the new school(Changing the way we think… changing the world)
The world we have created is a product of ourthinking – we cannot change the world withoutchanging how we think. - ALBERT EINSTEIN
Our collective patterns of thinking have created a collective perception of the world. Thiscollective perception has become reality…
This ‘reality’ is one of greed, violence,indifference, poverty and environmentaldestruction.And it is a reality that has beencreated by old habits of thinking…And old ways of thinking come from old ways oflearning…
THE OLD SCHOOLThe old system of teaching and learning stemsfrom the needs of the industrial revolution.Under this system people were seen as cogs ina machine. Each with their own discretefunction.The purpose of schooling was to produce ‘cogs’ thatfit in with the needs of industrial workplace.
THE OLD SCHOOLStudents saw schooling as a process of‘downloading’ discrete packets of information.This process created fragmented learning and served tothwart students’ understanding of their own world andprevented understanding across barriers.They were educated out of their own creativity andindividuality so that they could become passiveparticipants in the world instead of driving forces in it.
WHAT IS THINKING?If thinking only involves you interacting withthe world then you are merely a passenger.If thinking involves you actively engaging withand creating the world you live in, then you havea responsibility to make it better.
Clearly, something needs to change…Our new reality demands it.(Did you know?)
Beneath the surface of this daunting new realityis a world of connections.Connections bring understanding.Understanding brings about better world.What an exciting thing to be a part of!
HOW DO WE MAKE SENSE OF THIS NEW REALITY?We need to learn to adapt to our ever-changing reality.We need to develop the ability to think critically andcreatively.We need to be able to innovate and provide insight.AND…We need to develop the confidence in our ownabilities to do all of these things.
THE NEW SCHOOLChange is inevitable. But it’s not really change that scares us, becausechange brings about challenges and it’s these challenges that we aretruly afraid of…When we are faced with challenges we are forced to step out of ourcomfort zones and be bold enough to make choices… choices that willnot only affect us now but in years to come.But if we make choices today that we can live with tomorrow, thenwhat is there to be afraid of?-- Catherine Bester, Grade 11, Crawford College Lonehill (2009)
In short, we need to develop the ability to thinkdifferently… not just so that we can cope, but sothat we can unlock our creative potentials tohelp create a better world.And school needs to form the foundation of ourabilities to meet this challenge.
Real thinking is pure fire. Creativity is as important as literacy. If we are going to change the world, we need some idea of what we are going to change it into.
THE NEW SCHOOLTHE NEW SCHOOL teaches ‘skills’, not ‘things’.THE NEW SCHOOL teaches HOW to think, notWHAT to think.THE NEW SCHOOL doesn’t impose knowledge, itencourages self-realisation and personal growth.
THE NEW SCHOOLTHE NEW SCHOOL focuses on questions and options, not only on fixed answers.THE NEW SCHOOL replaces ‘buts’ with ‘ands’.THE NEW SCHOOL is about the bigger pictureTHE NEW SCHOOL is about personal growth first, and marks secondTHE NEW SCHOOL asks you to make mistakes and to learn from them
THE NEW SCHOOLTHE NEW SCHOOL is about expectations, not rules.THE NEW SCHOOL is about high quality education, not high quantity schooling.THE NEW SCHOOL is about VERBS (SKILLS) and not about NOUNS (CONTENT)THE NEW SCHOOL is about learning to learn. Every class is a thinking class.