Kim Flintoff drew the attention of readers of the fantastic West Australian eChalk email list to this video - eSN TechWatch: Preparing Kids for 21st-Century Success. Kim observed:

Yet another smart person (Daniel Pink) recognises what needs to be done in education – why don’t things change? Interesting that embedded arts is identified as a key shift – and that current arts programs ore often tack on rather than fully integrated. Multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to break from disciplinary isolation – tear down the limiting walls of arbitrary learning area demarcation.

To which Bryn Jones replied and pointed out that Jamie McKenzie had added a critique of the video here. I love when people share elements of the wider conversation in the spirit of collegial interest. This is another aspect of connectivism that underlies the learning going on around our professional association with each other. I am started to observe this more and more as George Siemens says we “derive our competence from forming connections”. Karen Stephenson states:

Experience has long been considered the best teacher of knowledge. Since we cannot experience everything, other people’s experiences, and hence other people, become the surrogate for knowledge. ‘I store my knowledge in my friends’ is an axiom for collecting knowledge through collecting people (undated).

On the subject of ‘change’ it is interesting to compare the “Preparing Kids for 21st-Century Success” video with this one “Progressive Education in the 1940s”. I came across it on Gary Stager’s blog post here.

Weird huh?! Progressive, interdisciplinary education was mooted back then too. Who would have thought! Still I’d argue that OBE (outcomes based education) when used well by teachers allows for a multidisciplinary approach. Although, I was speaking with a teacher/leader today who noted that WA teachers have a natural aversion to sharing - let alone across disciplines; this hinders the whole approach somewhat! Are we wilfully ignoring the lessons of the past or are our systems simply morphing without focus to meet the economic needs of the times?

But in the 21C, what about the inventive needs of the knowledge economy where the right-brainers need opportunities to become equipped? I’m optimistic. Rudd is right. Empowering students with access to their own ‘digital pencil’ and the connectivism it brings is a good start, and will, with trust and time, help them form an aptitude for being creative, critical thinkers - hopefully with inquiring minds to boot.