Teach with Reach‘s main quest is to foster paradigm changes in Education.
Currently there are three main paradigms of particular interest: Student centric, mastery based, just-in-time learning.
Student Centric – There are at least 7 different styles of learning. From linguistic and logical, to spatial, musical, bodily and inter/intrapersonal. However most schools only teach with one style, words. The words might be written in a book, read out by the teacher or shown on a powerpoint slide but few non-art classes try to teach students in the way they learn the best. Currently in Australia alone there are nearly 300,000 teachers and nearly each one creates their own learning materials. But teachers aren’t content creators. Imagine if you took the domain experts, people who are masters in their field and paired them with professional content creators such as film makers, graphic designers, voice over artists, game designers, story tellers and more. You could get an amazingly rich quality of learning materials which could be produced with the best of educational practices.
The idea of teachers under such a system changes to be much more like mentors.
Mastery Based – The current school system has a fixed time, variable learning mode to education. You learn what you can in a year then move on to the next. Imagine swapping it. You let people take as long as they need, but the main thing is that they actually master the concepts and skills they need. This is something that the Khan Academy does very well as it uses questions throughout the process to be constantly measuring students progress.
The other aspect to mastery based is the 10,000 hours concept. The idea that to be a master in the craft be it computer programming or cooking, you need to have put in about 10,000 hours of hard work not just doing the tasks but getting better at it.
Another key component is
Just-In-Time Learning – As Sir Ken Robinson explains so well, children are born with an innate curiosity and passion for learning, unfortunately throughout the education process we burn them out of this. Just-In-Time learning is about learning what you need, when you need it and works very well with a project based approach. You find a challenge or project you want to work on, be it with friends or on your own and then learn what you need (and want) in order to complete the project. Our current education system was created to be very effective at producing factory workers, however the people of the future need to be creative and have a life long passion for learning. If educational materials are available in abundance, from films and animations to interactive simulations, mindmaps, cheat sheets, flip cards or even access to great mentors or slightly more advanced student then a just-in-time learning system is indeed possible.