This is the first is a series of posts I intend to share in which I describe some ideas, concepts, and research about teaching and learning in digital landscapes that educators have not given sufficient attention, in my opinion. In many cases, these are ideas that held educators’ attention for a short time, but they were discarded before they affected any lasting change.
In his popular 2005 book A Whole New Mind, Daniel Pink concluded that the skills and types of thinking necessary for 20th century industrial and informational workers will no longer be sufficient for success in a global economy of abundance. We know that many easy-to-define physical or cognitive processes have been automated; this has made previously scarce resources or skills abundant.
Pink reasoned the skills needed to participate in and contribute to the economy of abundance are different from those that were valued by, taught in, and measured in traditional schools, thus school leaders should begin the work of revising the school experience. In the skills necessary for the future, there appears to be a rediscovery of those fundamental to human nature. Pink observed, “Back on the savannah, our cave-person ancestors weren’t taking SAT’s or plugging numbers into spreadsheets. But they were telling stories, building empathy, and designing innovations” (2005, 67). In this, Pink was suggesting that there would be an increasing differentiation between the tasks performed by technology and those performed by humans; those unique to humans being more important and relevant to solve society’s problems and more central to education.
Pink, Daniel. 2005. A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future. New York: Riverhead Books.