Out with the Stale, In with the Classic

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Great piece in the WSJ about the future of education, an industry that has remained stubbornly resistant to technology.

I’ve written a bit about this — what I call “Yellow Checker Syndrome” (posts here and here).

After describing the ways that technology could disrupt education, the author offers this insight: “It may sound paradoxical to use high tech to make modern schools resemble those of bygone eras. (Picture Socratic dialogues mixed with challenging, rather than rote, vocational training.)”

This return to older methods of teaching from the industrial method of teaching should not surprise. The current education system was built to encourage compliance and feed workers to large corporations (for more, read Seth Godin’s Stop Stealing Dreams). 

In today’s peer-to-peer information economy, education should rather encourage creativity and relationship-building. Consider the one-room schoolhouse of yesterday. Eighth-graders in the same room as first-graders? Inconceivable! Yet it encouraged a personal, opportunity-seeking approach to education.

The same issue of the WSJ covered the rise of house calls — again, an old-fashioned practice that didn’t seem so effective in the industrial age but may be what we need in the relationship economy.

What other examples do you see of industries evolving to older forms at the dawn of the “Second Machine Age”?

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