Saturday, April 28, 2001

Schools that Learn

New, interesting ideas for old, moribund institutions.
Gautam Chikermane
As my daughter readies to enter school, I am filled with dread. Cursory research tells me that what is imparted to kids in the name of education will only destroy whatever true learning they are capable of -- classrooms like prisons; teachers who treat pupils as trophies to be marketed or as pariah dogs to be ‘disciplined’; institutions that neither question nor allow questions.
Schools that Learn is a collection of 191 pieces by 113 writers, which discusses advances in education. It explores new ideas, pursues new thoughts, and presents exercises that people are adopting to help make institutions more like learning organisations. It suggests that the one-size-fits-all education system that serviced the 19th century industrial world may not work as effectively today. I agree: our children will be more ‘global’ citizens than we, and will need to be creative, original, individual -- things our schools neither provide, nor can provide. A new way is needed. What that is, I have no idea -- neither does the book, but it gives interesting directions, stimulating possibilities.
Book review in Outlook Money

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