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What can we do? - an open letter to teachers - promoting the flipped learning

As Sir Ken Robinson ended his talk with Benjamin Franklin's quote , "There are three sorts of people in the world: Those who are immovable, people who don't get, they don't want to get it, they're going to do anything about it. There are people who are movable, people who see the need for change and are prepared to listen to it. And there are people who move, people who make things happen."

Lets be the type of people who move. Instead of questioning "why has the education system not changed yet?" or " why didn't the government take any initiative to change?" , I believe we should act within our circle of influence. It is the question of "What can we do about it?" What can we do about our education system? How can we improve it as students, teachers or parents.

As a student myself, I've been working on promoting the flipped learning , as I believe it is one of the first steps in progressing ourselves for change. Here is an open letter to teachers out there, http://faizulzuraimi.blogspot.com/2013/05/an-open-letter-to-teachers-my-name-is.html

and do visit my blog as well: faizulzuraimi.blogspot.com

"Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself." as mentioned by John Dewey , one of the figures in Progressive Education Movement in the late 19th century.

Perhaps we too , can be one of those "movable people" .Perhaps there shall be a Digital Age of Progressive Education Movement. It all begins with one simple question , "what can we do?"

I would love to see your opinions :)

update (5.6.13) : http://faizulzuraimi.blogspot.com/2013/06/education-is-everyones-business-do.html


Closing Statement from Faizul Zuraimi

Thank you all to those who participated in this conversation and those who took the time to read and visit my blog. I've learned a lot from dialogues with you guys , the TED community, and I'm really glad that some of you sent me emails , articles and ebooks to help me in this cause. This is the first time I ever hosted a conversation on TED. Your comments and support are my inspiration and I'm looking forward to host another conversation in the near future, perhaps when I'm done with my exams. :)


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  • May 12 2013: Two words: Critical Thinking. The great documentarian Frederisk Wiseman produced 2 documentaries back in the late 1960s that are sadly overlooked. They are titled "High School" and "High School 2". I highly recommend that everyone see them. Not just people interested in education, but every single human being. At least the first one at a minimum. Wiseman profiled 2 different schools. In the first, he documented a school from a low income latino neighborhood which took a "radical" approach to education. Every class, every single one, every single grade, was taught centered around critical thinking. Teachers did not give dictation - they gave persuasive argument. They did not denounce challenges from the students out of a compulsive need to control, they addressed the challenges honestly.

    Critical thinking underlies all actual learning. Memorizing a fact is very difficult for humans, and very useless. Memorizing does not integrate concepts into a reinforcing framework, it simply hangs a piece of information unrelated in the mind - and it cannot last long with no mooring foundation. An idea taught through argument inherently becomes integrated. It sticks. It's fantastically invigorating, and unbelievably effective at accomplishing education. That low income school? They went on to have the highest college graduation rate (not just college attendance, but receipt of a degree) of any school in the country. The experimental school produced vibrant, engaged learners.

    The second documentary, High School 2, follows a "standard" school in an upper middle class neighborhood and shows how schools take enthusiastic, interested adolescents and grind them down to middle-aged lifeless accountants in the remarkably short span of a few years. It shows a school much like most schools where the students become disinterested in everything and learning dies. And since the 1990s we've layered prison-like control on top of that... and we wonder why some snap...
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      May 12 2013: I couldn't agree more that critical thinking is the skill that we all must acquire, especially in this Information Age. We should learn how to see things from nuanced different perspectives , evaluate as to whether the information presented is biased, and decide as to whether the it is credible.

      The flipped learning(the idea is not new) that I'm trying to promote supports critical thinking, as students get to see things from different perspective from their peers and their teachers . They will spend more time on high-order thinking , which as a result, will produce to students who are creative, lifelong learners, and curious. The best part is that it works within the constraints of the education system.

      Thanks for informing me about Frederisk Wiseman documentaries, I'll certainly look it up.

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