There’s a wave of transformation coming to education in America—and it’s long overdue. Our current ”assembly line” approach to schooling is obsolete. A relic from the long-dead Industrial Age. (Just think about it: the bells, the rote schedules, the mindlessness and heartbreaking boredom.)
Basic skills aren’t even delivered effectively. There’s little encouragement for students to dream big dreams. Even worse, soul-deadening lectures chase away a love for learning.
And what’s the reward for enduring to the end of this pseudo-educational journey? A college degree. A piece of paper that today all too often signifies very little, except that you were willing to take on tens of thousands of debt, with little hope of finding a fulfilling job.
And that’s a tragedy. It’s time to design a totally new approach to education. An approach that:
- Helps students find a meaningful mission in life
- Helps students master 21st century skills
- Affirms and encourages students, and holds them strictly accountable
- Provides verifiable proof of what each graduate can do
And just as importantly, an approach that brings back the actual joy of learning. And not just learning to know—the ability to recite facts and figures. But learning how to do—overcoming real-world challenges as a way to master valuable skills. And, ultimately, learning how to be—the discovery of who you were meant to become.
You’ll be hearing that KNOW/DO/BE refrain a lot from me.
This is a movement. A throwback to a simpler approach to education. The approach that gave us Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Edison, the leaders who once made America the most powerful, industrious, and enlightened nation in history.
Transforming Education will be about that movement.
And to be clear: this isn’t some backwards yarn about “the good old days.” On the contrary, the movement’s about combining the latest technologies with an individualized approach to discovery and transformational learning, reinforced by affirmation and accountability. And delivering it at a fraction of the cost of the assembly-line model.
We’ll use this space to explore changes happening in K-12 and at the university level right now, and the changes that are coming down the pike. I’m part of that change. Check out my TEDx talk to get a better idea of where I’m coming from (it’s only in audio for now; video to come soon). And I want you to be a part of this movement, too.
I say that this isn’t “just another education blog” because we’re not here to just talk about the latest technological advancements or new teaching methods—though there will be plenty of that. And we’re not here to talk about reforming the old system—but about transforming a failed system into something entirely new, in ways most people can hardly imagine.
Transforming Education will be full of updates from the field: the latest evidence that an archaic system is near collapse, updates on the latest innovations from around the country, and even a few reports from the Acton MBA and Acton Academy elementary, two schools I helped found.
Most important: we’ll discuss the kinds of educational principles that change lives and forge master teachers of us all. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few.” It’s principles that are the most important here. That’s our biggest focus.
So stick around. There’s a lot to come.