Originally published here.
Now that I have a daughter I am beginning to imagine what her education looks like. No longer am I hypothesising about the general problems with education but rather wondering about what do I want her to experience.
And I’m not confident that model Australia continues to move towards, where the more you pay the more access to networks and opportunity you get, is what I want for her.
Kids are inherently creative, innovative and without boundaries.
Innovation and creativity with people at the centre happens naturally when the environmental and social factors converge in that magical mix. So why isn’t there an educational environment that strives for the mix of these factors that will allow every child to be successful?
It is much the same challenge as organisations have when attempting to create a culture of innovation within themselves. And yet those whom we hold up as truly innovative increasingly have elements which do not look like the traditional model. When will education learn these lessons? What does the model look like?
If you haven’t come across an example of the power of these factors then I urge you to read up on the Honey Bee Network. A movement in India that recognises that knowledge use has been historical asymmetrical, the holders of informal knowledge are often at the forefront of innovation and creativity and yet are rarely the beneficiaries of the benefits that can come (economic or otherwise) from their knowledge.
I purport that the same is true of our education system. In a world where our knowledge breath and depth are growing once we have the fundamentals mastered we should enable access to both formal and informal knowledge across the community agnostic of age but with interest, creative problem solving and relevance as the drivers. At 14 years old perhaps my daughter will hold the key to the next biomedical breakthrough, as this child has, with the help of informal learning from his father.