full learning revolution will thus involve much more than schooling. Fortunately, most of
the learning breakthroughs have already been made. Many of them have come from able
teachers. Many from business. Many from sports psychology and coaching techniques. Many
from research into the human brain. Some from studies in nutrition. Others from health
programs. And many from linking communities, schools and businesses together to replan the
To achieve the world's best educational system, we
believe, requires action in 13 separate but interrelated areas.
1. The new role of electronic
We live in the first era of
human history where it is possible for everyone to communicate with everyone else.
It is also the first era where children know more about
the dominant technology than teachers or adults.
This combined Internet, computer and world-wide-web
revolution is reshaping an entire generation: even more than the printing press, radio,
the automobile and television have reshaped previous ones.
And, as Don Tapscott puts it so aptly: "What we
know for certain is that children without access to the new media will be developmentally
If left only to market forces, he says, the new digital
economy "could foster a two-tiered society, creating a major gulf between information
haves and have-nots - those who can communicate with the world and those who
can't." He talks of a growing "information apartheid", where "the
have-nots become the know-nots and the do-nots". And Tapscott challenges almost every
form of hierarchy when he claims: "The people, companies, and nations which succeed
in the new economy will be those who listen to their children."3
Tapscott, in one of his several excellent books on the
subject, calls for all 21st century societies to "give children the tools they need
and they will be the single most important source of guidance on how to make the schools
relevant and effective."4 By using those tools, "the students teach themselves. While they're at
it they can probably teach their teachers as well" - as Finland is proving in
Amazingly, no country has yet completed a national program to link all its
citizens into an interactive electronics instant communications
Contents Page Preface