Sunday, April 7, 2013

Raising Funny Kids 28: A New Educational Model

The Nomadic Educational World (NEW) Model by Sophy M. Laughing, Ph.D. fosters higher levels of understanding and thinking by focusing on world advancements in knowledge and understanding.

The NEW Model offers students a "broader" perspective of the world by focusing on the "Big Picture". Engaging a student learner from a top-down perspective increases interest, which results in a purpose-driven approach to our present traditional foundational learning model (rote memorization, comprehension of key concepts, and so on).

Beginning with expert opinionstudents learn what key contributors in each field of inquiry have to say about the trajectory, advancements, and future opportunities in a given field as well as how that field affects related industries. This "Big Picture" view of a field of inquiry provides student learners an opportunity to connect with the subject matter by recognizing its importance to the world and to their well-being.

Building targeted competencies associated with autodidactic learning more profoundly engages students as they make the transition from student learners into adult learners. Each stage of the learning process should allow for contribution, which is necessary to become a lifelong, self-directed learner.

Once students have been exposed to the "Big Picture" by impassioned advocates for that field of study, the news offers students realtime access to relevant discoveries in each field to further spark their imagination. Imagination drives interest, which results in a purpose-driven approach to learning the basics associated with mastering any subject.

The world economy, or global economy, refers to the economies of all the world's countries. The economy of our global society is made up of national economies and economies of local societies. It is inseparable from the geography and ecology of the Earth, and therefore, directly affected by advancements in many fields of inquiry. Human economic activity establishes values for certain goods and services and translates that into monetary units in each industry, which further translates into a single unit for the world economy.

Market analysis is critical to understanding how the global economy is affected by advancements in each field. Understanding the economics of our global world is a key factor for students in considering any field of study. Despite a student's proclivity for any given subject, if there is no market for the endeavor, a student learner may not feel that profession is right for them.

Providing an educational model that more closely mirrors that of our growing global community motivates students toward personal success, which sparks motivation. Once a field of interest is identified as a potential career path, traditional foundational learning (rote memorization, etc.) is used as a tool to support comprehension and, ultimately, subject mastery.

Surveying world advancements in key areas allows students to explore key questions in the relevant fields of inquiry that affect our world. Based on the theory that learning follows interest, engaging students in a wide range of subjects presents students with the most current, innovative ideas on the planet, which can then be analyzed and responded to according to a student's strengths and interests.

The traditional post-industrial model focused solely on foundational learning. It does not offer students an opportunity to build relevant competencies that are necessary to meet the changing needs of our new technologically-driven society. Rather than holding each student to an absolute standard according to which all students are expected to demonstrate performance in exactly the same way, the goal of world education should be more nomadic in nature, developing engaged, adaptable, interested citizens that work in solidarity toward the betterment of humanity.

Global education allows students who do not have the opportunity to travel internationally an opportunity to integrate a larger society into their worldview. World news brings knowledge, language, and culture from across the globe into the classroom.

Solidarity is the foundation of the NEW model, a civilized education whereby students have the opportunity to learn about world advancements rather than being limited to stagnant, culturally biased, localized perspectives. If we aspire toward a more humanitarian-focused world, then we must present the advancements of all of humanity across the globe. To separate any citizen, young or old, from the world society is essentially imprisoning them in the past. No wonder student learners around the globe feel like prisoners, despite their eagerness to explore the natural world around them, they are not being presented with the global bridge of understanding that is necessary to keep up with the technological revolution of the 21st century.

Learning requires that we constantly gather information and make decisions. Students make constant decisions about learning tasks. Naturally, sound teaching decisions requires the input of sound information - information that is cutting-edge, relevant, and presented in real-time. If information is stagnant or outdated, students cannot successfully apply and integrate competencies and knowledge going forward, this results in the gap we're seeing between education and real life application. Students, teachers, school administrators, educational reformists, and parents across the globe are disenchanted by the fact that much of what we require students to learn has very little to do with the changing technological world.

Not all students are born with an attitude of intrinsic motivation or self-determination to do well in school. If we want engaged citizens, we must engage them. Specific steps must be taken in order to provide relevant and meaningful information in a vastly changing technologically-focused global society. 

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