Friday, 3 October 2014

MOOC: What Future for Education? Unit 1 Reflection

The first unit reflection for the Coursera MOOC What Future for Education? To follow the thread, click on - or search for - the label FutEd.

Based on your experience as a learner, what do you think you will be able to get out of this course? 
So far, much of what I have read is a revision of ideas encountered on my MEd which I finished in 2010. Although it's only 4 years ago, it was useful to revisit some of the learning theories I perhaps had not considered for some time.
As already acknowledged on the forum, learning is rarely linear and I look forward to having my previous learning about learning (and meta learning) challenged, confirmed and developed over the rest of this course.
Being able to engage with an interested community is often the motivation for my participation in MOOCs and I can already see from the forums that I have a range of peers, many with significant experience and most with ideas worth sharing, exploring and dissecting.
By the end of the course I hope to be more secure in my understanding of learning theories, but also have had my thinking taken in different ways to open my mind to possibilities which will ultimately improve my skills as a teacher.

And what ideas do you already have about the future of education?
This is a good question but when I reflect on it I simply don't have a clear answer. At the beginning of my MEd I thought I was learning a lot of 'new' ideas and was excited to see the changes that would take place over the coming years. However, as my studies advanced I realised that some of these supposedly 'innovative' and 'radical' theories had been around for decades (at least) and yet national education systems continue to plod along with the more traditional (and in my humble opinion, ever-decreasingly effective) approaches.
Although instruction has apparently changed in the UK from more to less didactic methods, my own experiences tell me there is much work to be done in teacher education to raise awareness of learning theories and their profound implications.
I think we will see increasing use of technology in the classroom, but I wonder if training will keep up with this to ensure it is not just used for the 'wow' factor, but rather for sound pedagogical reasons. Observations to date don't make me optimistic, but change is inevitable as the 'click' generation make it to teacher training colleges. It's a brave new world...

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