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He used a phrase which will be remembered by all delegates – he said we need to move away from an education system that is focused on ‘stuffing the duck’ to one that centres on designing rich and engaging learning experiences in and outside of school.
This isn’t really anything new – even my year 7 students understand the difference between a transmission style of teaching and one which facilitates engaging learning experiences that support students’ construction of knowledge and skills.
If you haven’t already read it, you should read Peter Ellerton’s excellent paper On Critical Thinking and Collaborative Inquiry which gets to this very point beautifully.
The discussion then turned to wellbeing and the impact that technology can have on wellbeing, especially that of young people.
It’s both an inspiring read and a practical read – I guess for me I like it because it was an affirmation of what I have been trying to do in the way I teach, and in the way I (attempt) to lead pedagogy at my school.
Schools are such bizarre places, having the potential to elevate you to moments of pure joy, and then swiftly crush you with moments of cruel reality.I think this is an area that definitely needs greater attention in this discussion – once again the pertinent point is the relationship the individual has with technology,.If the relationship is passive, where the individual views technology as a product inextricably tied up with personal identity then this becomes a problem.However, his repeated mention of Marx made me uncomfortable simply because (as wikipedia helped me understand) Marx’s theory of history focuses on how human society is determined by its material conditions (and these are determined by innovation), which is exactly the point that Bell was making the day before.The way that the economy responds to AI and automation is necessarily going to impact social conditions – we MUST focus on this aspect, and to ignore the impact that technology will have on who and what we become is naive.