Christian Long, Vice President of Cannon Design and David Jakes started their presentation “Learning, By Design,” with three declarations:
1. We believe that learning is made possible by curiosity and wonder.
2. We believe that the future of learning is waiting to be designed.
3. And we believe that searching for wonder in learning is our shared invitation to the remarkable future that lies ahead.
Long and Jakes urged us to consider teachers as designers, who “prepare students for the opportunity of possibility.” How can we cultivate a classroom that is a safe place for students to take risks and possibly fail? What if teachers design their classes so that they felt wonder and curiosity along with their students? What if teachers let go of control (once the stage is set) and become facilitators of learning, rather than dictators of learning?
“Imagine learning throughout your life at the rate of an infant.” (Bruce Mau)
Finally, Long and Jakes posed a design challenge to the audience. How can we educate students to solve problems that will affect one billion people? How do we prepare students for the next? Not by trying to make them all Einstein and achieve a single, defined objective, but to enable them to find their curiosity, wonder, and unique gifts, and how they can direct that within the world. In the words of Peter Diamandis, Co-founder of Singularity University, “And every year we ask them to start a company or a product that can affect positively the lives of a billion people within a decade.” (See also the example of the Academy of Global Citizenship here.)
They closed with the following quote from The Little Prince:
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” Antoine de Saint Exupery
Food for thought from the TCEA Conference.