Stemming the Tide
As an educator I have come to realize that thinking drives learning. It is the common term of reference for everyone and everything human. If we understand thinking, we understand everything else.
THE UNCERTAINTY OF INTERRELATIONSHIPS
Thinking is the way our minds perceive interrelationships among the elements and inhabitants of our environments. There are an infinite number of ways those elements and inhabitants can interact. Sometimes there is consensus and we can build common understandings of our observations. But as the number of interacting inhabitants increase, the possibilities variations increases and the probability of consensus decreases. This is why the world is struggling with globalization. Attempts to backtrack are futile blips created by opportunists who prey upon the desire of human beings for certainty. Since there is nothing that cannot be challenged anymore, where do we turn? We must look to the process of challenging itself. The process of challenging is the process of thinking. Understanding thinking can be the one constant that human beings can rally around.
The thinking process itself is the only constant in humanity. We go wrong when we think that everyone has a different thinking process. It is only "what" we think that differs. We are all the same in how we know; we different in what we know. Because we face dilemmas associated with relating our purposeful thoughts to our past and our perceived future, thinking can be complicated. Understanding the structure and process of thinking is the key because what we think is always a dilemma.
EDUCATION AS UNDERSTANDING THINKING
The probability of designing the future is very much a process of finding ideas that everyone can relate to and turning them into useful products and services. Traditionally, education was passing on the wisdom of the past. The future of education is in learning to understand and use thinking as a way of finding paths through the increasingly complex issues that we all encounter every day. The Internet has created a complex world. We must educate accordingly. Isolation is not an option any more.
MOVING TO EDUCATE THINKERS
Creating an education system grounded in thinking can be done by introducing courses in thinking to the existing curriculums. Such a course will not only educate students in thinking but also teachers. Then the rest of the curriculum will evolve to reflect the education of thinkers. Design methodologies will change. Teaching strategies will change. Evaluation approaches will change. Indeed, the fabric of education will change. And ultimately the world will change.
THE POLITICS AND ECONOMICS OF A THINKING WORLD
As our thinking moves from an emphasis on diversity to an emphasis on commonality, the institutions and businesses of the world will move to embrace the political and economic opportunities that are generated by the changes. The new economy will be more concerned about weighing pros and cons and making decisions on the sustainability of the planet and generating equality of human opportunity. Entitlement and misanthropy will be exchanged for leadership that is concerned with finding solutions that benefit everyone. A person cannot change the world. Only collective thinking can do that - for better or for worse.