The Learning Revolution - On-line Introduction

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Introduction

33


educators. Yet not one government spends even one percent of its educational budget on training its most vital educators.
    Self-directed learning is a major key. And if you provide the right environment and tools for self-learning even tiny children become enthusiastic and lifelong self-educators.
Maria Montessori, Italy's first woman doctor, was providing such environments almost 100 years ago,
25 and showing how three- and four-year-old "retarded" children could"explode" into writing, reading and basic mathematics. Yet most countries are still not achieving that result even for "normal" children.
    We now know that every one of us has a unique learning, working and thinking style. Yet many high schools and universities still "teach" as if every student learns in the same way - the academic, abstract, theoretical way. " Research clearly illustrates that only about 30 percent of people learn best that way."
26 The other 70 percent learn in a wide variety of styles - best of all by actually doing.
    We are also living in an era where most people have the chance to extend their active life to well beyond 75 or 80 years. Yet political leaders are locked in debate about how to secure "retirement" benefits for this aging population, when one of the real challenges is to create a new third age of active participation in a lifelong learning community.
   Fortunately we now know how to reverse those policies. All the main answers are being practiced somewhere in the world.
   This book obviously represents, of course, strong personal views. Everyone's ideas are mixed in a different cauldron. Ours have bubbled through a score of different brews. From one author's career that spans 50 years of business, marketing, advertising, public relations, journalism, radio and television. From the other's life teaching at every level, from preschool to university. From our joint efforts this decade in putting the new methods into practice around the world.
   From that combined background comes a simple set of beliefs:
   1. Virtually anything is now possible. We can achieve almost all the things that Utopians could once only dream about.
   2. Nearly every problem has been solved, in part, somewhere in the world. Choose the best solutions and you'll lead the world.
   3. Where problems have not been solved, we now have simple techniques to produce great new solutions.
   4. You don't have to be a giant country, a giant state, a big company

 

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