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Who wants an open source curriculum based Education?

Inspired by Clay Shirky's recent open source talk, I thought about having an educational curriculum that is open sourced to students. Wouldn't it be exciting if students are taught to take ownership of their own learning journey. No more vague and unhelpful teacher feedback, instead students come into educational institutions knowing that their perspective counts and that they are in charge of their learning. Conceptual.understanding at their pace and language.

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  • Sep 27 2012: Absolutely! In my construct, the learner is the car, the driver, and the mechanic.

    However, there will be a role for someone who has more knowledge or expertise to help facilitate the discovery process. It’s just not the traditional teacher role because information is ubiquitous. Knowledge can be obtained from anyone, not just a “teacher”. And learning becomes a function of whatever the learner is most interested in, or passionate about.

    In this construct, the traditional teacher/professor role will become a "sage" for some, and a "coach" for others. Those who qualify for this new sage/coach role will have domain expertise or professional experience in an area that the learner finds valuable to their own growth and development.

    The motivation to learn becomes more internal than external. The learner will be more responsible for identifying “trusted” sources and engaging those people who want to share their knowledge or experience. And together they will co-create the discovery process. I believe that all of these factors contribute to better learning outcomes and provide a potential solution to America's "skills gap" and dropout crisis.

    Admittedly, this model has some challenges. But many of these challenges are due to a lack of formal structure (or an institution) to support, encourage, or maintain these kinds of interactions. But what I'm suggesting is no different than learning from Socrates himself, the stated goal of an apprenticeship program, or the way literacy in America changed during the book revolution that occurred from 1770 to 1830.

    We just haven't reached the tipping point.

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