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Saturday, 14 November 2009

Minds on Fire?

Graphic: Front page of the Educause magazine.This morning I came across a blog from 'Supercool School' which pointed me to the Educause document
'Minds on Fire', from last year. The document is well worth reading, even if a bit out-of-date now.

What particularly attracted me was the strapline to their recommendation, "In a rapidly changing world social learning will dominate over formal education."
'How daft', was my instant response. For ages we have recognised that more sex education is taught behind the bike sheds than in the Biology labs, that 5-year-olds are taught how to say 'please' and 'thank you' not by being told that this is the accepted norm, but by the fact that parents and grandparents informally and unconsciously teach these things by regular practice between themselves and also upon the informal correction, at the point of need, of the child.

Similarly, schools recognise that they only have an input to the child's education for some 12% to 20% of their young lives. Recently, through the Home Access Programme in the UK we are supporting the need for closer contact with parents and carers in order to reinforce good educational practice. (Use the search tool at the top right column for more on the Home Access Programme.)

Nowhere is the e-Portfolio a more practical and effective tool for supporting informal or social learning and documenting the transitory and ephemeral experiences of out-of-school learning. What I would like to see in the coming months is more examples of good practice in capturing that 'butterfly' of informal learning, particularly with younger students. - Any offers?

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