Teaching For The “Real World” — Homelessness, Universal Basic Income, Etc.
WOW ! Time to think again ! What is education for? Is it for jobs? For democracy? For perpetuation of the system or to radically change it? Learning to collaborate? Learning to avoid homelessness? What?
The education field has been rife and ridden with fads and frills for generations and it’s a wonder that people still send their kids to schools. Maybe it’s just a safe place for kids while growing up. Certainly the 3Rs are “old hat”. Graduate’s Math skills are reported as deplorable and functional illiteracy is stated at 40% of the population.
The latest education buzzword (fad) is Design Thinking.
Basically, it’s yet another variation of what has beset the whole 20th C education industry — progressivism, the John Dewey method of experiential learning — learning by doing — teacher as guide by the side not sage on the stage — discovery, inquiry — education is “caught”, not “taught”, etc., etc., etc.
One parent has just posted that under the “umbrella of Entrepreneurship” her school used Design Thinking to help solve “poverty” problems in developing countries. A business model was drawn up whereby impoverished girls would make bracelets for a Fair Trade organization. The Atlantic article referenced above says Design Thinking has “gone viral despite scant objective data regarding its effectiveness for learning”.
Many teachers adopt progressive methods because they don’t like the drill of didactic teaching. Others are romantics and do want to save the world! The Atlantic article states that they see themselves as “helping their students learn through solving real-world problems”.
Well, here’s a real-world problem. Many Think Tanks, including some of the most conservative free-market types, are seriously exploring the expansion of the womb-to-tomb welfare state. These are some of the plans: GAI (Guaranteed Annual Income); UBI (Universal Basic Income); ESP (Economic Security Project); BIG (Basic Income Guarantee). Finland is already into its first week of the Western world’s first UBI as national policy.
BIG was tried for 4 years in the late 70s in the town of Dauphin, Manitoba, Canada (pop. 8500 in 2011) http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-mincome-experiment-dauphin
My question is this: Since our Thought Leaders think UBI is the inevitable direction of our economic system how soon before public schools start injecting this topic into the classrooms? Is there an alternative? Will broader private and public education choices avert this slippery slope to universal state dependency?
[Above post published on my Facebook and Invisible Serfs Collar. ]