A New R&D Educational Framework

Deconstructing to Reconstruct Education (Part 3 of 4)     

Influenced mainly by Vygotsky’s Cultural Historical Activity Theory and Freire’s praxis, I propose that education should start with the existential problems of meeting human needs ingeniously.  Isn’t necessity the mother of invention?  Innovation is born out of making something new out of what already exists.  For this reason, it is important to engage in deep inquiry about what exists and has existed; to know about how and why people act in real world activities across cultures and throughout human history. 

This is not, however, the way we go about educating children nowadays.  Typically schools teach a single theory to explain a concept and a singular practice for a real life situation that responds to a human need.  As if universal facts, children are taught one way to think and one way to act, when in reality there are many possible ways of acting and thinking.  Yet this diversity of choices does not mean that all choices are equal, each one has its implications or consequences, as well as its own genesis within a specific context and evolution over time.   When children are taught multiple practices and theories and understand what they follow from and what follows from them, they build up a tool chest of possibilities for which to create, or innovate in the world.  

The Contemporary Education Framework is meant to be used as a research and design process to follow.  By developing this tool chest of possible practices and theories, students can deliberate upon what we, as human beings, should and shouldn’t do and how we should or shouldn’t believe reflectively.  This empowers them to act not only consciously and intentionally, but to create new ideas, products, services that can support people to live more thoughtful and meaningful lives - individually and collectively in society.  By deconstructing what they know and constructing new knowledge resources, they can reconstruct, producing something new and original in the process. 

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To transform education in order to move humanity forward to face the challenges of the 21st century, increasingly globalized world in a collaborative, creative, critical, connected and caring way.

The founder and primary contributor to Education for Contemporary Times is Sarah O. Weiler, long-time educator with a M.A. in Global Education from the University of Illinois and a M.A. in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Education at the prestigious Institute of Education at the University of London in the UK.
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