EPSY556 Week 5 Readings

Reflecting on this week’s readings left me feeling somewhat conflicted.  While I can’t help but admire–and even feel a bit overwhelmed by–projects such as the Horizon and Flat Classroom projects, I still find myself wondering just how practical they are right now.  The goals and ideals are noble and needed–don’t get me wrong; I think progressive programs like these are essential if education is to evolve adequately to prepare today’s youth for the rapidly approaching future.  And since the traditional model is so hopelessly outdated for today’s and future students, maybe something revolutionary is needed to shake things up a bit and shock people into thinking differently.

Perhaps I’m still a little too attached to the “traditional” formats, outdated though they may be–even though I’ve been reading Ken Robinson’s book, The Element, and it’s really opened my eyes to all the inherent flaws in the current state of education.  Part of me still finds the notion of a purely exploratory educational environment a bit too vast of a leap–I’m concerned that most of the world is not ready for such a radical change; something more incremental might be easier to “sell”, so to speak.  And maybe that’s where blended learning comes in–in any of its forms.  However one defines blended learning, it still sounds to me like an attempt to bridge the gap between more traditional and outdated one-way methods to a more collaborative and participatory education.  Maybe it is this idea that incorporates the best of both approaches in today’s educational climate and will serve as a springboard to a more widespread adoption of more progressive education.

Regardless of my conflicting feelings, I think the Horizon Project is headed in the right direction, and I’m curious to see how their efforts continue to evolve and develop over the next few years.  Maybe I’ll even be able to witness the fruits of their labors in the education of my youngest son, who’s currently in kindergarten.  Maybe by the time he’s in middle and/or high school, initiatives like those promoted by the Horizon Project will have seeped into more traditional public schools.  In the meantime, I think blended learning has definite potential for guiding students toward a more progressive constructivist education.