School World vs. Real World

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<— “It’s not where you take things from…it’s where you take them to.” Jean-Luc Godard

We know we have plenty of real-world problems (e.g., global warming, poverty, obesity, etc.).

We also know that it takes innovative thinkers within and outside a particular field to solve them (see Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions).

We know, too, that when students solve real-world problems in school, they increase their capacity to do so in life. Makes sense. They’re cultivating an important mindset in an environment of support (Levy & Sidhu, 2013).

We also know that when students learn how to collaborate effectively in schools, they increase their capacity to do so in life, as well. Again, this makes sense. They’re learning how to force multiply in solving problems (Levy & Sidhu, 2013).

Why, then, are most high school students not even thinking about real-world problems until their final year in high school? Why is it mainly graduate students who spend their time solving real-world problems (Levy & Sidhu, 2013)?

Solving real-world problems. Collaborating in person and online. These are skills, along with resilience, entrepreneurship, critical thinking, creativity and communication, to name a few, that set students up for success in life.

How can we find the courage and the capacity to develop the types of learning experiences for students that will enhance their opportunities beyond school and that will eliminate the barrier between the school world and the real world?

 

 

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