All research and investigation into the future of education, tends to focus in technology. But actually in 2018, we have now amazing sophisticated technological tools. Maybe what is actually missing, is relation in the classroom, a new kind of relation, not anymore groups of students, in front of teacher, listening to what he has to say, but new ways of relating that are deeper and focus more in human connection. This is also important for the world after school, the world of employment, where getting along and being in tune with your colleagues and managers is key. Then, there is this down to earth question which is that, when it comes to youth finding employment, who you know matters more than ever. In a new interview with C.M.Rubin, Founder of CMRubinWorld, Author Julia Freeland Fisher, Director of Education Research for the Clayton Christensen Institute, says schools must explore innovative ways to increase social mobility for students by investing in the power of real-world relationships.
“The real challenge facing schools is more about the resources they can dedicate to investing in students’ networks, and the processes that could allow more students out of schools and more outsiders into schools.” – Julia Freeland Fisher
Fisher believes many schools haven’t seen this as their area of responsibility or expertise in the past. In addition, schools have been limited in terms of resources and funding. But she argues that in today’s world, who you know matters more than ever, and that schools should innovate and additionally “leverage technology to expand access.” While modern technologies may not always be the best way to build close, caring relationships, Fisher believes technology has “truly disruptive potential when it comes to seeding what sociologists call ‘weak ties’-or brief connections-with new people, especially those whom students might otherwise not meet.”
Julia is the Director of Education Research at the Clayton Christensen Institute. She is also the Author of Who You Know – Unlocking Innovations that Expand Student Networks. Her book explores ways to help teachers and school administrators break the pattern of inequality in American classrooms.
In an interview for cmrubinworld.com Julia tells us what originated the book. In the beginning she thought of writing a book about technology. But about halfway through, she realised technology is not the issue anymore, because nowadays, we actually have lots of sophisticated tools that can connect us at the press of a button.
The problem schools face has more to do with the resources schools can access to broaden students’ networks, and the processes that could allow more students out of schools and more outsiders into schools. The book thus gained a new direction, as it became more about institutional designs. It focused and explored what it would mean for schools to innovate in ways that privilege relationships as outcomes unto themselves.This could be a way to innovate in ways that ensure that every student has both a web of support and also inroads into an array of professional networks.
The full interview can be accessed here.
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