Thoughts on culture, education, and having been a Canadian in the US
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It’s the end of the world as we know it. And I feel fine.

David Warlick’s blog always gives me a lot to think about, but with his notion of “flat classrooms” I think he’s moved to a new level. This is a great post that should give us all a lot to think about.

What about an education system that is challenged to prepare children for their future — and it’s not their father’s future. So what about a flat classroom? Traditional education has been an environment of hills. The teacher could rely on gravity to support the flow of curriculum down to the learners. But as much as we might like to pretend, we (teachers) are no longer on top of the hill. The hill is practically gone.

[. . .] In many cases, students communicate more, construct original content more, and more often collaborate virtually with other people, than do their teachers. Those teachers who pretend to stand on higher ground, appear, to many of their students, to be standing on quicksand.

I wax hyperbole, but the point is that our times require a different kind of classroom, one that can no longer rely on gravity. We must invent a perpetual learning engine.

It’s such an appropriate metaphor. I, for one, wish my classroom was flatter. When you do hit a flat patch from time to time, it’s completely liberating for all concerned. Or maybe it’s just that I miss the prairies! It’s only there that you can truly see the horizon and get some perspective as to where you really stand. The problem with the hills and mountains, from a prairie perspective, is that they obscure the view. I think David Warlick would agree.