When one considers new age technology, the advances in Artificial intelligence(A.I.), and the geometric increase of technologies in all industries, education has sorely lagged behind. Reviewing the voluminous articles about the threat of AI on the future global economy, jobs markets and the attenuation of human freedoms education must alter its focus; and seize control of how students learn, and teachers teach, to dampen the grim forecasts of such things as: Universal Basic Income (UBI), and the potential for undercutting autonomous, and free, independent thinking.
Historically, students have worked and toiled in Direct instruction environments for at minimum the last 100 years. Simply put, Direct instruction environments socialize students into acceptance and passivity while learning obedience to the authority figures in the classroom. Ideas are passively received and responses are supplied as accommodations to teachers. Contrary to this belief, self-directed learning, the notion that students are responsible for their own knowledge and are capable of reflective and critical thought through the process of trial and error construction of knowledge reflects the core of analysis and the scientific method. Their knowledge is their own, it can be improved, and is underscored by Piaget’s theory of equilibrium.
The demands of the digital epoch require creative and innovative thinkers who are tasked and capable of finding unique solutions to complex problems. The future of innovation, the economy and ethical means of advancing the needs of humanity require students who are intellectually confident and emotionally secure in making mistakes while finding heuristic and complex answers to challenges facing humanity.
The rush to quantify learning in students, and their learning outcomes, reflects a re-entrenchment of the direct instruction model to simplistic statistical responses. Inquiry based models of instruction that require hypothesis and testing are the bailiwick of future leaders, businesses, and citizens of a functioning and successful society. Instructional programs that cultivate the individual and their critical thinking through Inquiry is the means by which we can integrate A.I. and make it productive for humanity as a whole. Digital learning and virtual resources are the future of the world. Luddites argue the need to move backwards and limit technology when we can move forward by simply educating our children in the ways and means of critical thought. One cannot travel back in time--we must move forward by relying on our students and honoring their perspectives through guided critique and analysis in the hopes they may choose to improve their thinking.
Keith Lockwood, Ph.D.
Manager of Teacher Effectiveness
The opinions expressed in Career Corner are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.