“Education Is A Global Religion”

So says Charles Leadbeater, a researcher at the London think tank Demos, speaking at a TED Salon in London. Effective education, he says, works by “pull” not by “push” — which is antithetical to traditional Western educational systems.

However, I think his points about the need for extrinsic and intrinsic motivators are just as important in the “modern” world.

Look at the graduation rates in the U.S. system (2007). True graduation rates have often been masked because reported data were for the percentage of a senior class who graduated; thus that data point did not include all of those who fell by the wayside before the senior year or before entering high school.

Based on the latest [2007] data, around 7,200 students drop out of high school each day, or about 1.3 million a year. Nationally, about 68.8 percent of students who start high school graduate four years later, but there are huge local differences. While 83 percent of the students in New Jersey graduate each year, only 41.8 percent of  Nevada’s students do.

Leadbeater argues that we need to shift resources from perpetuating sustaining innovation in formal settings to investment in disruptive innovation, whether “reinvention” (formal) or “transformational” (informal). Agreed. But we need this shift in thinking at home, too.

You can watch his talk at TED:

By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

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