Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tony Wagner's Latest, Creating Innovators

I just finished Tony Wagner’s latest book, Creating Innovators - The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World. It supports many of the current ideas that are popular regarding the needs for changing our education system to better prepare our children for a globally competitive world.  Some of the concepts he expresses in the book include the importance of play, passion, and purpose in learning. He addresses these concepts through looking at our education institutions, K12 education, higher ed, parenting, and business among others. One of the “others” is the US Army and the changes they have planned in their education system for 2015.

General Martin Dempsey, commanding general of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, TRADOC created the Army Learning Concepts 2015 document that describes philosophy and recommended changes for the Army’s training programs. In a world where everybody has access to the same information, even adversaries, it does no good to just possess the knowledge. What creates the advantage is knowing what to do and how to use that knowledge to your advantage. That requires creativity and innovation.

The US Army Learning Concept 2015 report provides a plan for restructuring learning and education in the Army. The plan, which was created in 2010, began implementation that year and  provided some immediate guidance related to the practice of education in the Army.  Three concepts in the TRADOC plan are highlighted in the book by Mr. Wa

  1. Convert most classroom experiences into collaborative problem solving events led by facilitators (versus instructors) who engage learners to think and understand the relevance and context of what they learned.

  1. Taylor learning to the individual learners experience and competence level based on the result of a pretest and assessment.

  1. Dramatically reduce or eliminate instructor led slide presentation lectures and begin using a blended learning approach that incorporates virtual and constructive simulations, gaming technology, or other technology delivered instruction.

These recommendations are similar to the ones many folks have been suggesting for improving our public schools for years.

Creating Innovators does a great job of looking at education and learning across the spectrum of parenting, k12, higher education, and business.

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