Schools and schooling must change.
The eleven participants at the LATINA course in Ramallah had different views on many issues. But all saw the need for change.
Yesterday the participants started blogging. Two of them had used this tool before. One arrived with lots of experience. A second had planned to use blogs in her own teaching. The rest were beginners as active bloggers.
Learning to think like a beginner is very useful for those who want to achieve deep change. Traditions provide stability, but hamper innovation. Today, people said, kids know more about computers and the web than their parents and their teachers.
If teachers continue teaching in the old ways, “inside the box”, students will be bored. Young people have access to all the resources and all the communication channels on the web. Why should they continue to study in the old way when the world itself has changed?
The people in our course are themselves teachers, planners and teachers of teachers. They accept the need for change. The best way of achieving change, I believe, is to try it out yourself. “Be the change you want to see in the world.”, Gandhi said.
Our students will not climb back into the box. To reach their students, teachers will have to leave the box – and learn to live with the new media. In its planning documents, the Palestinian Ministry of Education is quite clear on that point.
Plans and discussions must be followed by action. Action starts at home. If we want to guide others on the road to e-learning, we have to walk the road ourselves. That means to experience the difficulties and frustrations, as well as the fun and the excitement, of the beginner.
If our kids can learn it, so can we.