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« Can Zero-Carbon Emission School Buildings Be A Reality?

As many of you know, DesignShare is passionate about innovative school design around the world. Even more importantly, we’re passionate about how we “design for the future of learning.” This demands understanding the critical learning trends, conflicts, opportunities, and debates that will fuel the need for innovative educational facilities.

To that end, we have deep appreciation for thinkers that push our thinking well beyond the physical ‘walls’ of the school buiding, well beyond the ‘fences’ of the campus itself. This often means stretching beyond the obvious sources and experts in search of provocative voices that are pushing the deeper conversations that are having an undeniable impact on education itself. The “Creating Passionate Users” blog is just such one source. While their main thrust lies in the connection between business and technology, especially how it relates to how the brain is impacted as well as how to apply brain-based techniques to improve learning, there is much to adapt from their writing. And trust us; while they are not afraid to throw punches, they are always passionate, creative, and diverse in their thinking. And they are one of the top-rated blogs in existence with an equally passionate following.

They recently wrote the following in a post on the sad state of engineering and math programs in the US educational system, although we suspect it has implications far beyond one nation as we all look towards the future:

“Our educational institutions–at every level–need drastic changes or we’re all screwed. The generation of students we’re turning out today need skills nobody really cared about 50, 40, even 20 years ago. Where we used to prepare students for a “job for life”, now we must prepare students to be jobless. We must prepare them to think fast, learn faster, and unlearn even faster…

The Waterfall Model of education is failing like never before. We need Agile Learning.

Three of the many people who’ve been leading the charge on this are Roger Schank, Dan Pink (his “Whole New Mind” book is a must-read), and computing/learning guru Alan Kay.

We were very pleased to note their mention of Roger Schank. Many of you will recall a piece about Roger’s ideas entitled “Death to the Classroom” that was published here at DesignShare. Likewise, we were pleased to see the blog mention Daniel Pink. Many of DesignShare’s community believe that Daniel Pink’s recent best-seller, A Whole New Mind, has enormous potential to influence new ways of thinking about the future of school design. Pink’s premise of a merger of right- and left-brain thinking by imagining life beyond the “information age” (linear, one-way, expert-driven learning) where schools (and all of society) respond to the rising “conceptual age” (pattern-based, symphonic, design-oriented collaboration) radically re-positions the look/feel/purpose of the classroom space and beyond.

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