Redefine Facts, Jump Paradigms
By jimgris on Sep 24, 2009
An Operating System for the Mind, Stephen Downes. I tend to agree with Downes in this piece how to think about education in the 21st Century. He is articulating a fresh approach to the "skills" vs "core knowledge" debate and it seems empowering and flexible. My complaint with the common core view of the world is that although I value a Liberal Arts education to a certain degree I find it expensive, poorly delivered, and lacking in practical skills to earn a living. At the other extreme I am critical of the facts/skills-only crew who pay lip service to a more common base of knowledge from which to build and grow and diversify (and enjoy). Both views lock you into one or another paradigm, and there seems to be a political agenda underlying both as well. Instead, the operating system view from Downes seems to be a paradigm breaker. I like it. He redefines facts themselves and offers a way of engaging facts to learn and act. It gives you the perspective you need to jump paradigms when you need to -- which is getting more and more often these days since everything is changing so fast out there. Give the Downes post a read. It`s a tad on the long and complex side but it`s well worth it.