Network Of Learning

Excerpts from Alexander Patterns:

*... another Network, not physical like transporation, but conceptual, and equal in importance, is the network of learning: the thousands of interconnected situations that occcur all over the city, and which in fact comprise the city's "CurriculUm": the way of life it teaches to its young.

In a society that emphasizes teaching, children and students (Educating Kids) - and adults - become passive and unable to think or act for themselves. Creative, active individuals can only grow up in a society which emphasizes learning instead of teaching.

Therefore: instead of the lock-step of Compulsory Schooling in a fixed place, work in Piece Meal ways to decentralize the process of learning and enrich it through contact with many places and people all over the city: Work Shop-s, teachers at home or Walking through the city, professionals willing to take on the young as helpers, older children teaching younger children, museums, youth groups travelling, scholarly seminars, industrial workshops, old people, and so on. Conceive of all these situations as forming the backbone of the learning process; survey all these situations, describe them, and publish them as the city's "curriculum"; then let students, children, their families and neighborhood weave together for themselves the situations that comprise their "school", paying as they go with standard School Vouchers, raised by community tax. Build new educational facilities in a way which extends and enriches this network.

Above all, encourage the formation of seminars and workshops in people's homes (Home Workshop); make sure that each city has a "path" where young children can safely wander on their own (Children In The City); build extra public "homes" for children, one to every neighborhood at least (Children's Home); create a large number of work-oriented small schools in those parts of town dominated by work and commercial activity (Shopfront Schools); encourage teenagers to work out a Self Organized learning society of their own (Teenage Society); treat the university as scattered adult learning for all the adults in the region (University As A Marketplace); and use the real work of professionals and tradesmen as the basic nodes in the network (Master And Apprentices)...*

The pattern also mentions Ivan Illich and his Deschooling Society book.

related: Network Economy, Lifelong Learning

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