Friday, August 17, 2007

Building Bridges

"Without a narrative, life has no meaning. Without meaning, learning has no purpose. Without a purpose, schools are houses of detention, not attention. This is what 'End of education,' is all about." ~ Neil Postman

Building bridges that last is a complex matter. A great deal of knowledge, testing, and trial and error often come into play. But in the end, we all want bridges that will endure and be dependable. This is true with physical bridges, such as the new Penobscot Narrows Bridge, as well as metaphorical bridges, the kind that link people and ideas.

How do we build bridges from 20th Century learning to 21st Century learning? Between the past and the future? How do we really connect - with respect, integrity and long-lasting collaboration - to come to terms with the changes that are taking place?

I would suggest that a start might be for us to take time to reflect on education metaphors. Beneath all our words, how do we really feel about the learning process?

Got a good metaphor for education?

What else is needed to build a good bridge to the future?

Neil Postman suggests in The End of Education: Redefining the Value of School that we need new "narratives," that the old ones worked fine in their time, but that new ones are needed for the future. He offers 5 possibilities and argues that we need a context in order to have a coherent system that is not to being driven by technology, but rather by people.

Can I sell you a bridge?

Speaking of building bridges, check these resources out:

Bridge Building Resources

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