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Voices of a Learning World

To evolve a new global model of learning through storytelling as a powerful tool for innovation.

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There is global consensus that learning has outgrown the province of education alone, formal learning no longer meshes naturally with life and work in a dynamic world, and educational systems need reinvention. The current set of fixed traditional educational practices devalues the process of curiosity, challenge and inquiry through which humans naturally learn. 

But what comes next? It won't be enough to settle on 'remote learning.' The COVID crisis offers the world a unique opportunity to actively reconstruct our common understanding of the relationship between learners, schools, families, knowledge, and the goal of a sustainable planet, and to evolve a new global model of learning to replace the industrial norms that have now been shattered. 

This is not a moment to 'fix' the system or add new 'strategies.' Instead, a fresh learner-centric model must evolve that liberates the talents of youth, fits learning to online, hybrid, and face to face environments, provides teachers permission to ‘reinvent’, catalyzes initiatives in transforming schools, promotes equitable opportunities and an evenly distributed system for future learning, and establishes modern metrics for accountability. 

There are similar signs in every country of a new model built on project-based practices that integrate passion, purpose, well-being, authentic problem solving, deep collaboration, design thinking, and human capability into a youth-friendly, learner-centered ‘project mindset’. 

But how a new model expresses itself in communities worldwide is yet to be determined. It is the view of Voices that students, parents, teachers, and citizens must evolve this model through a deep communal global conversation. More important, the conversation must be driven by voices beyond the normal 'educational leaders' and reclaim storytelling as a powerful tool for innovation, systems change, and deep transformation. 

Currently, there is no global forum for this critical conversation. Voices has responded by convening an exceptional group of leading practitioners experienced in educational transformation and project-based learning in Australia, U.S.A, China, Spain, Denmark, Hong Kong, and Mexico. Combined, this network touches every country, has unmatched global experience in working with schools, students, parents, leaders, and businesses, and shares a powerful history of promoting authentic learning centered on challenge, collaboration, competency, deep engagement, and well-being. 

By combining networks, expanding the initial circle of conveners, and attracting participants regardless of national borders, Voices will use its global platform to sponsor an ongoing series of highly publicized, freely attended, and widely shared digital events that provide unique, ongoing opportunities for parents, youth, teachers, business leaders, and leaders globally to join together and engage in rich conversation about the future of learning, the needs of their communities, and the redesign of schools. 

As inspiration proceeds,so will ideation. Voices will highlight the multitude of learning organizations, initiatives, and people-driven ideas now flourishing to provide a unique, one-stop ‘clearinghouse‘ of leading-edge resources that support the emerging model by sharing its deep global network of expertise with students, parents, schools, and businesses worldwide.

 

 

What part(s) of the pre-COVID school system do you wish to leave in the past? Why?

Remote learning is only an artifact of COVID 19. The real crisis and opportunity is that formal education and authentic, purposeful learning suitable for a global future are at odds. We need a new model of learning; schooling, in some form, will need to follow. Schools must be part of a new ecosystem that includes more self reliant youth, increased opportunity for following passion and purpose, involves parents and families as co-educators, and fits the needs of a diverse planet. The new ecosystem will retain many aspects of school familiar to us, but in a redesigned format that replaces standardization with personalization, teachers as mentors, subjects as interdisciplinary experiences, assessments as competency rather than test-based, life/work preparation in place of academic preparation for university, performance rather than seat-time, and similar innovations now visible in some schools. What should interest us most, however, is that the pockets of innovation visible in every country are coalescing around a common model. There is an emerging global consensus around schooling and learning that needs to be highlighted, shared, supported, and refined. The refinement process is a human-centered design process and VOICES intends to be an active global sponsor of the Inspiration stage!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.

I am one of founders of project based learning and maintain a network of 7000 educators globally. Several years ago I recognized that the deep desire for reinventing learning and schooling had become a global conversation. When COVID arrived, I recognized the truth in Churchill's admonition to "never waste a good crisis" and brought together 18 leading educators who have been at the forefront in their countries to bring transformation to teaching and learning, primarily through pioneering PBL and design thinking in schools. All possess the deepest expertise possible, but also share a vision of learning focused on purpose, authenticity, respect for community, and personalized pathways. As we spoke with another, we came to consensus that schools, students, business leaders, and parents don't need more advice -- they need a VOICE and opportunities to discuss the future of learning with one another. NO global platform currently exists for this purpose.

What region are you located in?

  • North America

Where are you located?

Headquarters is San Francisco Bay Area. But VOICES is global, as it should be. Restricting conversations about the future of learning to one country is not workable in a post COVID world.

Attachments (1)

Vision Voices of a Learning World.docx

The Vision Statement for Voices of a Learning World, including founding team members.

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