Sunday, November 16, 2014

Independent learning at the earliest opportunity

“Imagine a world in which every single person
on the planet has free access to the sum
of all human knowledge.”
Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia

That world is not too far away.
Are students being prepared for it's potential and pitfalls?

Of what use is the sum of all human knowledge to
anyone who cannot mine it effectively and efficiently?

Imagine a world where at the earliest opportunity, every student learns how to access the sum of all knowledge independently.  "Independently" does not mean without oversight.

Instead of trying to standardize individual educational performance, why don't we try instead to create independent lifelong learners at the earliest opportunity?

Creating independent learners can be dangerous.
As Theodore Roosevelt observed;
"To educate a man in mind and not in morals
is to create a menace to society."
Theodore Roosevelt 

Because of the increased learning there is increased opportunity and increased risk.  There must be commensurate attention paid to protecting students by helping them develop the character that might prevent them from becoming the menaces Roosevelt predicts.

If our obligations as role models could be increased, they will be increased the more and the faster students learn.  We are compelled therefore, to step up our game on their behalf.

Instead of abandoning our obligations as role models of meaningful standards of conduct and competence, we should be redoubling our efforts to provide students with the information and examples they need to grow into adults who embrace character and courage and honor and the protection they provide.

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