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Monday, 27 May 2013

Journal 2- Paradigm Shift


The video “Changing Education Paradigms” probes and challenges the current models of education by describing how the current ways of thinking about education have changed over time since the industrial revolution.  This video touches on concepts in which less emphasis should be placed upon such as standardization, and areas in which more time should be focused on and embraced such as divergent thinking and technology.

             After watching the video “Changing Education Paradigms” I must say that it is spot on for the need to change the current system of education to better help promote and stimulate the mind for not only educating children but also adults. 

Barkley (2010) describes motivation as a theoretical construct to explain the reason or reasons we engage in a particular behavior.  It is the feeling of interest or enthusiasm that makes somebody want to do something. (9) The video discusses how the whole concept of public education came to be around the industrial revolution, a time where discoveries about the world itself were made on a rapid level.  As these discoveries helped change and shape methods of progressing our thinking and working today it appears that the way we view education has not changed all that much even though other areas in our society have.  This questions the whole notion of motivation.  How can we keep our students motivated to learn when we are stuck in methods of teaching that were for a completely different era? Strauss (2013), describes similar concerns about the current American education system when she writes:
“What I want people to understand is that the backbone of education — the familiar math-science-language arts-social studies “core curriculum” — is deeply, fundamentally flawed. No matter the reform initiative, there won’t be significant improvement in American education until curricular problems
are understood, admitted, addressed, and solved.” 
I think that this is a valid statement in that the current system of education cannot and will not be changed in one day, but slowly we as educators can help raise our concerns and put forth better and more current ideologies on how we would like to enhance the learning experience for our students and hence increase their motivation to learn!
Technology undoubtedly has had a great effect on the need for the current education paradigm to change as well.  The article “A Paradigm Shift in Distance Education: Web 2.0 and Social Software” discusses how “student’s roles had changed from passive to highly interactive in the historical development of distance education.” (66)  Again this increases the motivation for learning in students as the typical “spoon-feeding” of education is not at the forefront of distance or on-line education but instead the onus is on the students to actively take apart of what they want to learn and help promote divergent thinking. 


The video discusses the needs to promote divergent thinking in students and how it has been inhibited by the current educational systems.  I think that in order for our students to be comfortable to “think-outside-the-box” we do need a system that does in fact help encourage this way of thinking.  At the time of the industrial revolution the whole notion of public education was new and a fascinating concept in itself at the time.  However the need for change is constant.  Strauss makes an interesting point regarding the need for change when she writes:
Change is in the nature of things; it is inevitable. Human societies either adapt to change or die. The traditional core curriculum delivers existing
knowledge, but adapting to an unknown future requires new knowledge. New knowledge is created as relationships are discovered between parts of reality not previously thought to be related. The arbitrary walls between school subjects, and the practice of studying them in isolation from each other, block the relating process essential to knowledge creation.”
I think this really describes the need for changing the current education system well.  The need to educate our students on what is happening in the world right now and how they can help shape a better future for themselves and their children is far more important to me than to educate them on the typical standard subjects that have not changed in decades.  I understand that foundations of learning the basics are important, however, promoting divergent thinking in our student’s minds to take these basic rules and applying them into the current day life would be a good start in helping to change the education paradigms of today. 

Barkley, E. (2010). Student Engagement Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty. San Francisco:
Kesim, E. & Agaoglu, E. (2007).  A Paradigm Shift in Distance Education: Web 2.0 and Social Software.
                Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, 8(3), 66-75.
RSA Animate- Changing Education Paradigms [Video file].  Retrieved from     

Strauss, V. (2013, Feb. 11).  A REAL paradigm shift in education.  Retrieved from

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