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Book: Education in a Time Between Worlds

Just got this book yesterday and I’m extremely excited to get into it !

I think it’s content would resonate with a lot of folks on here. Major thanks to @rhyscass for turning me onto Zak’s work! I think I saw you’d started reading this one as well? Would be very interested to hear your thoughts!

I’ll be returning to this topic once I’ve read a bit more to add my own.

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I’ve also picked up Education in a Time Between Worlds. Not very far yet but I’m working through and taking notes/reflecting with some of my own thoughts and opinions on each topic. If you have made some progress yourself I would enjoy discussing the book here. I will also likely be posting reflections on my personal website under a soon-to-be-created reading section.

What strikes me about the first essay (Education in the Anthropocene: Futures Beyond Schooling) is how similar Zachary’s “utopian” vision for education aligns quite closely to my own, despite not having read a whole lot of literature on education myself.

I think the primary difference between today’s education systems and the proposed educational hubs he discusses in the book is the difference between passive and active. At its core, the systems today are built around a passive model of education where students are treated as empty glasses to be filled by lectures, readings, and a curriculum which dictates what they should learn and when. Of course there are active elements within the passive system (projects, research, etc.) but being under a passive system these activities often lose their meaning. Conversely, the educational hub is centred around an active model of education where students take more initiative in their own individual learning process.

I want to find some research studying alternative education systems which are built around active models of education to back up (or disprove) these next hypotheses, but I think that it makes sense that the passive/active model makes a huge difference on the way students learn to see the world. The passive model of today’s education instills a passive world view of consuming information from trusted experts, doing what you’re told, and generally not taking initiative of one’s own – especially when it comes to global issues (e.g. climate change) where “passive” thinkers posit that there’s not much they can do in the grand scheme of things and therefore react apathetically, leaving the problem to someone else. And then again to compare with the hypothetical future of educational hubs, I think one of the reasons this idea is compelling is that it gives people the power to make a difference. Starting at an individual level by being able to make a difference on your own learning and education, and then within your social groups, and then your community. And before you know it you have citizens who not only want to make a difference on the world but actually know how to make a difference.

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This book and Zak are great. Would love to do a reading and reflection group with people here. Hello @jaredpereira.

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Hey @Ericscott welcome! Would love to do a discussion group. Maybe something based around each chapter?

@Azlen the active/passive distinction is a powerful one for sure, and I’ve seen it pop up in a lot of places. Probably the most famous if in Pablo Freire’s work, where he talks about the “banking” model of education, where students are vessels to make knowledge deposits into.

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Great idea @jaredpereira. I would block out a M or Tues evening on a recurring basis for that!

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Awesome! What time zone are you in @Ericscott?

I’m not sure what the ideal structure would be here. I’d love it to be based around producing some kinda artifact, maybe even a blogchain type thing a la @cjeller1592’s Blogging Futures adventrue? Any ideas?

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A blogchain thing would be cool @jaredpereira! You could have each week be a reflection post on a set number pages. Also it ensures your learnings are posted to your own site first but are syndicated elsewhere (the blogchain). I’d love to help host the blogchain & join in if y’all want to move forward with that format.

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I’d be super down for blogchain style. I think that the longer form reflections of the blogging (and the conversational aspect of bouncing off each other’s ideas) would be a great format for this small little reading group.

Just a note on the medium of the blogging chain: If we go through each week or two reflecting and discussing a specific chapter, it could be nice if previous weeks were left open to submit even after the next prompt goes up. This would give a space for discussions to continue, and for latecomers to have the chance to add their voice to the conversation.

Hi @jaredpereira et al. I’m in NYC now. Sorry for letting slip. Is there a good way to respond on mobile here?

I think that’s where having a unique form for each week would come in. That way people can contribute to a specific chapter at any time and have that conversation continue in a dedicated space.