当前的主流的教育模式，也就是这个以课堂教学为主的教学模式，或者叫做强迫式学校学习，只有150年历史。其设计的目的是剥离人的高端功能，只保留低端的功能，这样人可以在流水线上工作并成为流水线的一部分。所以这个教育系统的目的，是为了让人成为一种高级的机器。 （John Taylor Gatto, 美国教育地下史）。 但是在这个新经济的时代，我们需要更多的人去探索知识并拥有独立思考的能力。当前西方世界面临的愈来愈加剧的危机就是因为过时的教育系统不能够满足新的知识经济的需求。所以这是新的教育体系取代旧的教育体系的时代，这个新的教育体系会带来真正的学习。
自从人类历史开始，自学就一直是人类学习的方式，并且贯穿了人类的整个历史，即使是在强迫式学校的黑暗时代。从完成其设计目的的角度，强迫式学校应该是成功的。但是在我们进入新的经济时代，我们需要更多的拥有独立思考能力可以独立探索知识的人，这时，我们必须对强迫式学校说：“你的任务已经完成。解散吧！” 现在是时候让真正的学习出场了！现在是时候让人成为完整的人，让人可以发挥出其所有的潜力了! 在我们的时代，自学将不再是少数人的选择，而是将形成规模成为社会主流的学习方式。过去，强迫式学校被设计来阻止人们去理解整体以成为企业家，在这个新经济的时代，我们需要更多的人能够理解整体并成为企业家。我们需要更多的人去探索社会知识，创造社会产品并解决社会问题。这个时代是关于我们的幸福的时代！
Declaration of Self-learning by Leon Liu et al is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
I am Sarah Cao. I signed it.
From Cat’s Cradle:
“Self-taught, are you?” Julian Castle asked Newt.
“Isn’t everybody?” Newt inquired.
“Very good answer.”
Should I put the above into the manifesto?
Although there seem to be a lot of content in the manifesto and it might seem a little scattered, actually the content is quite coherent and concise. For the first part, Sudubry experiences told us that self-learning is the only way to learn, and children can direct their own learning. Sudbury told us how children learn by playing, by participating in school matters and thus changing their immediate environment, and by paying attention to and being part of larger society. All these prove not only that learning shouldn’t be separated from these activities, but also that these activities are exactly what make learning happen and are what make the children complete and whole human beings. The learning part, the part that reflects on these activities, discerns differences and forms knowledge, help children participate better in these activities later. This part relies a lot on children’s feel of the space, either space internally or space outside. It is this feel of space, the reflection, that makes the learning process. And the knowledge they build up in the process helps them better play the activities later. So this completes the loop and it spirals up. This is the process of life. We don’t need external tests to evaluate children. External tests can never tell if people have grasped the knowledge and it destroys people’s sense of the space. What educators can do is to build up comprehensive supportive learning environment to make learning easier once learning needs arise. So the second part goes deeper in explaining these. The third part thus calls for actions accordingly. First we need to protect the freedom of learning and let people direct their own learning. We need software programmers to look into the reflection part and see how software can help people better do reflection and share that formed knowledge to help other people in their playing. We need people to start learning in real lives, and share what they have learned and thus make real life knowledge richer and make the old education model obsolete. We need to have more comprehensive ways for employers to evaluate candidates. We need all people and organizations to work together to make the whole society a comprehensive supportive learning environment.
So as you can see, it is quite coherent. I probably lack the English wiring skills to make it a coherent and powerful manifesto. Anyone interested please jump in. This can be a powerful message to lead people to actions that will really bring the future learning to this planet in the earliest time possible.
Alex Yu, I signed it.
To the author: you mention that you possess poor English writing skills. You demonstrate an admirable self-awareness here, but I wonder whether you might receive more support for this declaration if you have someone edit it for grammar, content, and format. Just a friendly suggestion! 🙂
Nevertheless, the content is superb. I am Jonathan Bisson and I signed it.
Thank you very much for your suggestion, Jonathan! Yes, I should find some friends to help me edit it. Also if you feel interested, you mind doing that? The same as the original manifesto 15, this Declaration of Self-learning is also Creative Commons licensed. Anyone is free to fork it and add their ideas in. I forgot to put the license in initially, which is there now.
I signed it.
It is unfortunate that as long as Sudbury Schools operate primary on tuition, it would be only a choice for a few, and the mainstream can easily dismiss them as a luxury.
Children can learn everything by playing. It is not playing that distract them from learning. It is external tests, meaningless homework and subjects that they are not ready to learn that distract them. Actually playing provide all the context, drive, feedback and goals for their learning. They learn by playing. Please don’t ask me why playing. Playing is the primary activity. Learning is the secondary activity. Don’t sacrifice playing for learning.
Compulsory Schooling not just cut kids out of playing, but also destroy their sense of space. People haven’t learned how to reflect after more than 10 or 20 years in school.
Above is content I am thinking of blending in the manifesto. I am thinking of making the manifesto shorter and more powerful. Anyone who is capable of good English writing can try.
I also signed it. It’s a great insight for education. Yuanliang is the most persistent person I have ever met on learning. I really admire his continuous effort!
I agree most part of the view in the manifesto. What I really concern is that how we can practice these ideas in a society. Similar as others, I would concern about the practice of idea, although there are schools like Sudbury Valley School. But is still not enough. We need to consider a school that is not more compatible with current education system.
Education is a complex system. School is just a component in that system. Every time we think about changing a component in a system, we need realize that a component could perfect only when it is able to work with other parts of system. If not, even though it is a great component, it would be abandoned.
Correct my sentence:
We need to consider a school that is more compatible with current education system.
Haoyu, thank you very much for your support! For a discussion, although I agree what you said has some value in it, I want to add two additional points to it.
First is a quote from Buckminster Fuller: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
Secondly, it is Compulsory Schooling that is at odds with modern society and not “working with other parts of the system”.
So maybe it is better to let the discussion go deeper to discuss more specifically what kind of school or learning environment do we really need?
Actually I have tried making the change within existing system or watched closely other people trying so. My experiences of that are quite negative. One thing is that it tried to legitimize what is inherently wrong. The other thing is that it is just very ineffective and it takes too much time. So I prefer just replacing it with a new model. It is quicker that way and we don’t run into the danger of getting a twisted model.
More stuff I am thinking of blending in the manifesto:
So you can see sudubury experiences are simply about playing and feeling. No. 1 is the prerequisite of playing. No. 2 to No.4 are the content of playing. No. 5 and No. 6 are about feeling. No. 7 is about building a playground.
It is not school time that we have to guarantee our children. It is the play time that we have to guarantee them. People never became illiterate because they played too much. People became illiterate because they had to work day and night from a young age and had no time to play. Especially in the modern world where there are bookstores and internet anywhere, people don’t become illiterate because of playing.
We also need to guarantee children the time to be with themselves and feel of themselves. Children in Sudbury are given time to be with themselves, to feel their internal clocks. And their feeling of the space is pretected from external tests, meaningless homework and forced upon subjects, which are designed to destroy their sense of space.
Play while equiped with strong feel is the most efficient way of learning. It may seem chaotic to the outsiders, but for the person doing it, s/he is following her/his own heart and it is by all means well-ordered!
But this learning revolution is not just about children. It is actually more about us adults because it is us adults who already forgot what is learning and constantly interfere with children’s learning in a violent way.
We have put our minds into a cage called classroom. And without a classroom, either a physical one or a virtual one, we are unable to learn. Yes, we still learn intuitively and slowly little by little. But that speed of learning cannot catch up with the needs of the new era of economy and an increasingly more sophisticated society. We need to learn a lot more. We need to learn big! We need to understand multiple domains of knowledge and understand the whole world. We need to be entrepreneurs and explore the world. People need to understand the sophisticated society and don’t get fooled by politicians and corporations. We need to build many things to make this world better. We need to empower ourselves by real learning!
So let’s expand Sudbury School Model to the whole society incuding adults. Sudbury School is a safe playground for children to play together. For the adults, let’s turn the whole society into a better playground! Let’s make the whole society a comprehensive supportive learning environment!
Will this make the manifesto too long? I still think the manifesto can be short and powerful. Someone with better language skills just need to take up the task. Forking is also welcome!
I strongly believe that the future learning will be all about learn while play. People fully engage in playing, which means several things including improving their environment and participating in larger society. The only learning part can be done by strong feeling. For that we can have meditation sessions that help people feel of themselves and things around (feel of space). We can also have software that help people to capture their experiences and do self-reflection, at the same time build up knowledge and share that knowledge. I believe the future learning and teaching will be in this way. People don’t have to lock themselves up in an isolated environment for so long just for the purpose of learning. That is too industrial age. People learn continuously and naturally in the same way they learn when they are very little: learn by play. The whole society will be the supportive comprehensive learning environment. That is my vision of future learning.
Just updated the manifesto with the 3rd version. I removed the part describing in a deep way what is learning and what is knowledge. That part might be too dry and too forward thinking for many people. I added more content trying to clear the doubts of people who are still thinking in term of classroom based education and thus is dubious of this self-learning based future learning.I think in addition to making a stance for ourselves we also need to build the bridge across so more people can come to our side. Although I removed the deep analysis of what is learning and what is knowledge, I also put emphasis on feel and self-reflection in the manifesto. I think this should be enough for people to get the message and take further actions. If they want to look more closely into the content of self-reflection, surely we have places for them to read more.
I like your manifesto and I will have a look at it as how to make it shorter over the next few days.
Great thanks! Nina.
A few things I would do before this go viral:
0. give it a nickname which can be hashtaged easily(like #Agile, #Scrum) or an acronym that speaks for itself. (like JOBS = Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act)
1. make a shorter version and a one sentence version
2. put it in a video under 60s
3. built an NGO around it and spread the word by forming some workshop around the world under this principle
4. gave us, the signers, a unique title. (like, The Guardians of the Galaxy, :P) And some stickers would be nice, too. 😀
I’m Huang-YiBin, and I fully support the effort of turning the table of education in a way that each child can be him/herself, follow his/her instinct, learn through playing, and therefore keep the best gift that the old man ever gave us: IMAGINATION & CURIOSITY.
Good suggestions, Yibin! One word I come up with now is “Awakening Self-Learners” 😛
Just made a shorter version. The longer version can still be viewed in the blog. The current short version might still contain a lot of content, but the words count is actually not big (below 2000). Honestly I feel it is difficult to cut further down. One thing is that we have to include things that make a somehow a complete picture for future learning so people can be confident that this is the future. The other thing is we still have to somehow clear the doubts of people who are accustomed to classroom-based education. So some sentences are still needed to clear their doubts and make them realize this is not just a Utopia or fantasyland but the real learning that will be brought true to everyone in the near future. I removed sentences that try to make a more elaborated explanation so the whole manifesto can be more compact. If people want to read more, at least the longer version is still kept, and also we are thinking of providing discussion points for people to discuss through a mailing group or sth. with what we built here using knowledge engine. I am still looking forward to other people’s efforts in making the manifesto more compact and fluent.
I am thinking of adding more about test into the manifesto by extracting key points from this post regarding test: http://blog.opensourcelearning.org/regarding-test/
I did the translation of the manifesto 15. So you can read it in Chinese: http://www.manifesto15.org/zh/
I’m Kevin Wang. I sign it.
Thanks, Kevin! Did you read the manifesto on guokr?
For those who think this manifesto might be too harsh on traditional classroom based education, we are just saying it is OK not to follow the supposed only way and it is OK to pursue what you feel you want to learn now. It is OK to learn things layer by layer or little by little, leave it for a while and come back to it. These are OK. If you feel it might be a little challenging, we have this self-learning tool to help you take control of it.
It is important to “understand” things. And learning is to build up that “understanding”. To gain that understanding, you need the time and space. You need practice in real life, and you need contemplate on it and hold it for a long period of time. You need to come back to it over and over again. You need to learn by yourself. Hence this Declaration of Self-learning! Here at open source learning we strive hard to make self-learning a little easier!