Monday, July 25, 2011

Rupert Murdoch's views on education

Rupert Murdoch might not be flavor of the month right now, and deservedly so.  However, this doesn't mean that he hasn't a useful thing or two to say,  This is certainly the case with his speech on education at the G8 Forum in Paris.  Murdoch makes a lot of interesting and valid points that you can read by clicking here.

One point that he does make that I have often read is the following:

'Think about that. In every other part of life, someone who woke up after a fifty-year nap would not recognize the world around him.

In medicine, doctors who once diagnosed patients with tools they could fit in their leather bags would be astonished to find their 21st century counterparts using CAT-scans and MRIs.

In finance, brokers who once issued old-fashioned share certificates have been replaced by online brokerages allowing people to trade across the world at any hour of the day.

In my industry, editors who put out newspapers the night before now marvel at the sight of readers getting news delivered to cellphones and tablets.

But not in education. Our schools remain the last holdout from the digital revolution. The person who woke up from that fifty-year nap would find that today’s classroom looks almost exactly the same as it did in the Victorian age: a teacher standing in front of a roomful of kids with only a textbook, a blackboard, and a piece of chalk.'

Anyone who reads this blog will know that I am a big fan of the use of technology to support education.  However, when I read what Rupert Murdoch highlights in the above excerpt I think to myself that all of the advancements that he gives in the fields of medicine, finance and news (interesting to see where advancements with the last two have led to lately!), have come about and been developed by those who have been through an 'old fashioned' education system.  This is certainly something to ponder before significant changes are made to the way in which we teach and expect our students to learn.

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