This is the start of a new school year and a time to determine how best to reach our students and our staff. If what you have been doing is not working, perhaps a change is in order. Moravec has a series of slides on a website about his work, which includes one that says, "Education is particularly resistant to change because its whole purpose is to preserve the past. Anya Kamenetz." Another slide reads, "1.0 Schools cannot teach 3.0 kids."
When I looked at Moravec's definition of "Knowmad," I could definitely see the difference between "someone who can deal with fundamental uncertainty" being contradictory to someone who knows the single best answer to a multiple choice question.
Knowmads can be anybody, at any age. They leverage personal knowledge and contextually apply what they know. They are motivated to collaborate and purposively use new technologies and then share what they know. They learn, unlearn, and adopt new ideas as necessary and thrive in non-hierarchical organizations. They learn continuously and are not afraid of failure!
"The move from a philosophy of knowledge to purposive experience of meaning means letting go of the idea that the most important thing in school is learning theories and practices that later, in real life, have to be applied." Moravec is concerned about human capital development as society approaches an increasingly complex and ambiguous future. He believes that "technological change drives social change, and the impact of these changes is accelerating exponentially. Our schools, universities, and other knowledge-based institutions must leap ahead of this curve for all people in highly globalized, knowledge- and innovation-based societies."
Instead of the all-knowing instructor filling the brains of our students, he describes "learning choreographers" as guides "who tease out experiences, sources of inspiration, and energy that can be the building blocks for the quest." Thieu Besselink designed a leadership course called the Learning Lab which was offered to University of Amsterdam Honours students. (See the long or short version of a one hour film on this at http://www.thieubesselink.eu/?p=607.) Besselink offers an "aesthetic approach toward re-imagining teaching in Knowmad society, where teachers refocus from information delivery and measurements toward one, where, together with students, they aim to build something new and meaningful for themselves. Rather than worrying about top-down approaches to education, he offers a pathway for reinventing teachers."
The reinvented teacher is now a choreographer, one who does not get bogged down in details, but keeps the key purpose and the process in mind at all times. The choreographer has the "ability to observe the relationships that really matter and creates successful journeys of learning in which personal and group purpose lead to mainifest value."
The future is becoming more and more unpredictable, and old social structures have less value, especially those connected with education. Administrators need to create settings for learning to occur where teachers can become choreographers and conflicting roles are all wrapped up in one person. Allow your teachers to help students "unlearn" old modes. Allow your teachers to become "collective intelligence cultivators, Zeitgeist capturers, social capital connectors, meaning miners, and assessmentors."
Read a copy of Knowmad Society by Moravec and consider that "each of us is responsible for his or her own reality and initiative." How do we share that responsibility with our teachers and our staff and our students? Open our minds to not simply being a vehicle for preserving the past...but helping individuals to choreograph their own futures!