The many incredible innovations of the 20th century have sped up the pace of life in addition to giving many people more access to information and communication tools. The anytime/anywhere learning made possible by mobile technology and the internet hold great potential for new ways of teaching, but some educators worry that the emphasis on efficiency and instant access is having a negative impact on some of the core tenets of education. In her Powerful Learning Practice Network article educator Shelley Wright advocates for a “slow education” movement that takes time to value human connection, curiosity and a love of learning.
“So what does the Slow Movement mean for education? It asks us to reimagine what it means to be a community of learners. It requires us to embrace the organic messiness of learning. It requires admitting that a large part of what is happening isn’t good for our children, our teachers, or our communities. Rather than a top down industrialized and homogenized assembly line, we need a grass roots Slow Education movement that takes into account what real learning looks like and why children really need to learn more slowly, freely and thoroughly.”
Slow. I love this word, and yet it tends to have many negative connotations in education. Which is too bad because it’s the very philosophy we need to save our education system, and give kids the time and space necessary to grow into the thoughtful, articulate citizens we desperately need them to become.