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ERIC Number: ED437146
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Pages: 19
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
"Upside Down and Inside Out": Why Good Schools Alone Will Never Be Good Enough To Meet the Challenges of the 21st Century. Speech delivered to the Council of Scientific Society Presidents (Washington, DC, May 1997).
Abbott, John
The 21st Century Learning Initiative is a transnational program concerned with improving education by changing outdated assumptions about how humans learn. This paper summarizes issues behind the organization's work. The first is the biological nature of learning; discussion of this issue includes a description of new research on the very young child's brain, the adolescent's brain and development, and brain plasticity. The second issue concerns the science of learning, with the assertion that metacognition--the ability to think about your own thinking--is crucial in today's information-driven society. The student whose metacognitive skills have been well developed ceases to be totally dependent on the teacher as an external force and progressively becomes part of the learning process. The third issue involves how people construct knowledge, calling for a move away from a dissected, compartmentalized view of reality and learning toward learning systems that embrace the complex, emergent nature of human and natural experience. The fourth issue is the impact of new technology, which is disrupting hierarchies of top-down, controlled learning environments and encouraging the growth of non-institutional, ever-shifting networks of self-organizing learners. The final issue involves restoring the once vibrant role of home and community in the education of young people. The paper concludes that understanding these issues could lead to creation of a new model of learning based on the biological concept of weaning: giving young children all the help they need when they are very young, and then reducing this progressively as they master more skills, so that as adolescence ends, the young person has already taken full responsibility for managing and directing his or her own learning. (EV)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A