The History of Education
The best way to define a tactic or a strategy is to look back to look forward. You have to understand history to understand the future.
When you realize that history is a cyclic process you are able to copy historic solutions and integrate them in the future infrastructure which is also a repetition of a historic infrastructure.
The Guild Learning from Practice
The current model of Education, the Factory, is outdated and will be replaced by the old model of the Guild now called a Community of Practice.
Let’s have a look at the History of Education.
Education was and is mostly achieved by imitation. Humans are extremely qualified to copy the behavior of others.
Therefore the best way to learn a trade is to copy the behavior of a qualified craftsman by serving as an apprentice.
The development of writing and book printing made it possible to distribute practical knowledge (experience) to many people. Later the practical skills were abstracted into theoretical knowledge.
The education of theoretical knowledge (Philosophy, Law and Rhetoric) and the expansion of this knowledge was the task of the Universities. They educated a very small part of the population (the Elite).
The Factory School
Our current education system dates back to the Industrial Revolution.
At that time agricultural workers were needed to perform, repetitive, factory jobs.
The schools were organized as a production-line that produced high quality (tested) products that were assembled according to the specifications (the Curriculum) of the Factory-owners.
The School Factory-Model is still operating but the Factory-owners don’t need the workers anymore.
They are transformed into Robots.
The Factories moved up in abstraction.
To find a decent job workers also have to move up in abstraction.
Every time when the Factory Schooling System has adopted its curriculum the outside world has moved up again.
When a School moves up in abstraction it moves to another level in the Schooling Hierarchy.
The schools of lower education are not able to move up because they have to serve the children who are unable to abstract.
The distance between the lower and higher levels is growing with an increasing speed.
When we look at the Cycle of Education it is very clear that we have to reuse an old model in a new infrastructure to solve this problem.
This old model is apprenticeship.
What is the new infrastructure?
The new infrastructure is the Internet. So the new way to support apprentices is E-Learning.
The Internet can be seen in many ways but the most interesting way is the Social Perspective.
The Internet is a collaboration system.
The Masters (and the apprentices) were organized in (local) Guilds.
The Guilds took care of many things. They organized insurance, shared their secret practices and took care for the old. At this moment Guilds are called Communities of Practice.
What kind of E-Learning?
What is Just-in-Time E-Learning?
Just-in-Time E-Learning is Learning when you are facing a problem.
Learning starts when your Expectation Fails.
When you are open to hear the right answer you are Focused. When you are focused you are in the Right Mood to learn (Motivation).
When you finally have formulated the right question you know the right answer (Socratic Learning).
When you are an apprentice you ask Your Master to Help. When your master is unable to give the right answer the “computer” will provide you with the right answer (Help-Systems, Wiki).
How do you design a Just-in-Time E-Learning System?
You have to Interview the Masters to find out what their Expectation-Failures were.
When you transform the failures in rules you have created an Expert-System or a Diagnostic System.
Let’s have a look at the Future of Automobiles.
Over the last 30 years, the amount of computer-based technology – compared with mechanical systems – making up the average car has increased from nothing to more than 45 per cent.
This rise is showing no signs of slowing down.
To cope with this, the role of the mechanic has evolved from mechanical repair to one that is highly technological.
As technology continues to evolve, they must learn continuously to keep up with new developments.
Using highly specialized diagnostic equipment, technicians are able to monitor and diagnose key areas of a vehicle to ensure they are working correctly, from engines to exhaust emission levels.
Many provide automatic updates to technical manuals and access to manufacturers’ service information, keeping technicians up-to-date on new developments.
But it’s not just a simple process of plugging a car into a diagnostic unit.
If the wrong data is applied, serious damage could be done to a very expensive vehicle.
It is necessary to study Computer-Technology to Maintain a Car?
I don’t think so.
It is necessary to study Automotive-Technology to Maintain a Car?
I don’t think so. When you know how to operate the diagnostic tools you are able to fix a car.
Now we have reached the most interesting part.
When we combine Just-in-Time Learning with the Tools that are available to Diagnose a car we have created a highly effective Learning Environment.
When a mechanic diagnosis a car-failure he/she can ask a Question like
How (Is Motor working?),
Why (Is Motor producing Rotational Energy?),
What (is Motor?) or
What is Happening?.
Who is Developing Learning Environments in the Car Industry?
The developers of Educational Just-in-Time E-Learning Tools are not situated in the Factory School anymore.
The Educational Tools are developed by the Manufacturers of the Cars!
The Makers of the Tools you Use Are the Developers of the Educational Tools to work with the Tools. The only thing they have to is to make them Self-Explaining!
The Tools have to Understand Them Selves.
Do While Everybody Working:
It is possible to Maintain Your Own Car?
In a few years time this will be possible when you buy a new car.
At that moment the mechanics are only useful to maintain the old cars.
But it is not very difficult to develop a (Semantic) Model of an Old Cars also.
How Long will this Take?
The tools are already there the big problem (as usual) is the Schooling System Itself.
Will the Educational Factory Adopt itself to the new Situation?
It is very difficult to Change Yourself.
What the Educational System needs is an Huge Expectation Failure.
What could this Failure Be?
The Government will stop funding the System.
Will that Ever Happen?
What the Government needs is a Huge Expectation Failure.
Will that Ever Happen?
It will happen when The Citizens will stop funding the Government.
Will that Ever Happen?
It will happen when most of the Citizins will be out of Work.
Will that ever Happen?
It will happen when You are able to Do Everything Your Self.
Will that ever Happen?
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About Communities of Practice (in Dutch)