I am listening to (and reading) Neal Stephenson’s latest novel Seveneves, an apocalypse novel about the days leading up to a mass extinction event called ‘the white rain’ and beyond. Without going into a review or a synopsis, I will say that it is great listen if you like lots of science and don’t mind stopping every once in a while to imagine stuff on your mind’s movie screen. But that is not why I am writing.
I am writing because of a tiny, almost throwaway paragraph about a third of the way through, written about one of the main characters, Doob, and his wife, Amelia, an elementary school teacher. Can you imagine what it might be like to teach during an apocalypse?
Is this what it would take to get educational reform that fits the world better? An apocalypse? Damn. Maybe so, because what I am seeing pass for reform today isn’t anything like this. There are a few alternatives out there (unschooling, Montessori, Steiner, Sudbury), but their total numbers have never been much compared to the status quo.
What will it take to get
- learning for its own sake
- no tests
- no ticktock curriculum
- the improvised and shared learning adhocracy
What will it take for us to finally be needed, to finally get the opportunity to show everyone the sterner stuff that we are made of. If not now, when? The apocalypse?