It would not be presumptuous to assume that in most peoples' educational experiences, there has been a giver of knowledge and a receiver of knowledge. The givers are the teachers. The receivers are the students. This idea of passing information along to others has been the societal norm of education for centuries.
Even though the world around us is changing at an exponentially fast rate, the delivery of information has changed very little. While pockets of change are occurring, they are outnumbered by a system that was founded by a society of one way communication.
If one was to make a timeline depicting methods of communication starting with the year 1995 and ending with today's date, it would include landlines, span the birth of widespread email accounts, the move from car phones to smart phones, and finally, to social media and virtual meetings. All of these methods of communication are widespread. Finding an individual without a cell phone and a social media account is an anomaly today. However, finding a classroom arranged in rows, where students are moved from box to box, learning by answering review questions and by scribing the information that the giver has planned for them, is far too common.
Our world is changing, and while we are turning out individuals that can compete and keep up with this ever changing world, our practices are probably leaving just as many individuals behind. Winston Churchill said, " To improve is to change. To be perfect is to change often." While perfection may not be the ultimate goal, changing often is still a necessity. Teaching our students without considering the social interactions, relevance, and tools that are available outside the school walls leaves today's students to explore that on their own, which can lead to a shallow understanding with few perspectives.
Education needs a new norm. To reach all learners and to provide the opportunity to everyone rather than the few, a widespread change is needed. This is for all kids, not just some kids. This is for us, our future, and our world. To improve is to change. And to keep up with today's world, we need to be prepared to change often.