11 June 2011

Q: How can we collaborate if we are taught to compete?

Certain aspects of the talk of Sir Ken Robinson - "Changing Paradigms" are really food for the brain. When I went to the university it was common to work in groups, present the results together. Each student of the group presented his part of the problem. But it was a result of the collaboration of the whole group. And I still am quite sure that each individual learned by himself not only about the problem but also on how to interact with the other fellow student. 

When years later I tried to implement this sort of learning environment in my own lectures I had nearly no success at all. Students did not want to work in groups. They wanted to work and present their papers all by themselves.

And as far as I can see, the situation has not changed in "normal" education institutions. The picture of a school as a hidden factory in this video was convincing. Working together seems to be enforced only in companies.

So Ken Robinson might be right but changing paradigms is not enough. He should have called his talk "Changing society", but that would be really a challenge.  Here you get the whole picture:

So before we start changing our society and the ways we were taught to interact with each other, we better start to change our own mind. But that could take a while.