Theme 8: A Process - Guided by the Right Questions
Education systems need to shift from linear to open ended processes - guided by inquiry.
There was a time when micro-education system thinking was adequate to inform and guide industrial-era school systems. Those days are gone. We need meta-education system thinking to promote public education as a driver for global sustainability. The challenge before us is new and large, with deeply entrenched customs that continue to connect education with industrial-era system structures. That's why we need to think less about specific system change and more about what educational systems are - in relation to our need for a sustainable world.
Micro-educational system thinking is linear. Disciplines and system elements are categorized and separated from each other. Information is focused almost exclusively on the quantifiable, aligned with objectives that are isolated from other interconnected systems. Inputs and outputs are simplified to develop models with misunderstood and unanticipated results.
A shift to meta-education system thinking can help us to think about how things are interconnected and why we need to work together as one interconected global system. As such, Education isn’t just a means to empower learning; it becomes a conduit for global sustainability.
The change we need requires open-ended processes. We can't know the answers. At this point, we can only focus on the fact that we need to change and seek to develop the right questions.
"Learning, which is based on human dependency, is relatively simple. But human capacities for creating elaborate teachable systems, for understanding and utilizing the resources of the natural world, and for governing society and creating imaginary worlds, all of these are very complex." Maragart Mead, Culture and Commitment, p 114