Information Age Education Blog
Possible Futures of PreK-12 Education
I am very proud of the new 48-page book that I have just written and made available free. The full title is Technology and Problem Solving: PreK-12 Education for Adult Life, Careers, and Further Education. Here is the first part of Chapter 1.
“Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.” (Thomas H. Huxley; English writer; 1825-1895.)
“Each problem that I solved became a rule which served afterwards to solve other problems.” (René Descartes; French philosopher, mathematician, scientist, and writer; 1596-1650.)
“There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.” (Henry Louis “H.L.” Mencken; American journalist, essayist, editor; 1880-1956.)
The goal of this short book is to help improve the education of precollege students throughout the world. It is written specifically for PreK-12 preservice and inservice teachers, and the teachers of such teachers. Other potential audiences include parents, school administrators, school board members, political leaders, and business leaders.
It is the basic nature of a healthy human brain to recognize and try to solve personal, societal, and other problems. We are intrinsically curious and motivated to do these things. Success or perceived success in dealing with problems is often communicated to others. Building on the previous credible and valid work of others is perhaps the most important concept in problem solving.
The development of reading and writing provided us with a dual-purpose tool. Reading and writing:
- Extend the capability of our brains;
- Allow us to preserve and pass on our steadily accumulating credible and valid knowledge and skill in understanding, representing, and solving a wide range of problems. (See the quote from René Descartes given above.)
The widespread use of reading and writing required the development of formal schools, as it takes several years of instruction and practice to develop a rudimentary level of reading and writing skills. The number of years it takes varies with the specific oral language that students are building on. Reading and writing in a phonetic, alphabet-based language such as Spanish is easier to learn than is a non-phonetic, character-based language such as Chinese.
Now we have computers. Computer technology provides us with tools that:
- Build on and extend reading, writing, and our other methods of communication. The Web is a humongous library used to make much of the accumulated knowledge of the human race available to educated people. The Internet and the Web together allow us to communicate routinely in ways that were undreamed of less than a hundred years ago.
- Are changing the content of our educational systems at all levels. Computers are an aid to representing and solving problems in every discipline of study.
- Are changing pedagogy and assessment in every discipline of study. Computers are an aid to making progress in solving the pedagogy and assessment problems of education.
- The remainder of this book explores various aspects of computer technology, both as a content area in education and as an aid to teaching and learning. We begin with a brief introduction to goals of education.
Suggested Readings from IAE
Moursund, D. (2015). The coming technological singularity. Retrieved 3/4/2015 from http://i-a-e.org/iae-blog/entry/the-coming-technological-singularity.html.
Moursund, D. (2015). Education for the coming technological singularity. Retrieved3/4/2015 from http://i-a-e.org/iae-blog/entry/education-for-the-coming-technological-singularity.html.