Consider current higher education communities in crisis, where one dean said, We pretend to teach them, they pretend to learn. Have you seen the disconnect between learning and leading change for the 21st Century?
Yet normal brain activity is now observable to show how humans acquire and use knowledge. How will neuro discoveries impact higher education or business communities? Could brain based insights transform broken practices?
Without an integration of talented minds from different backgrounds, universities in crisis will continue to cling to traditions that fail the young, much like George H. Douglas described in Education without Impact.
The American university as we know it today is not an ideal community …. The young may enjoy themselves on campus… they may even learn a lot, but … they don’t .. interact with the academic world. Most rapidly conclude that they are sojourners at university, not key players, that the university seems to be made by others for others-researchers, espousers of trendy political causes, grant seekers, elusive pedagogues, distracted graduate students working on Ph.D.’s, tunnel-vision specialists, administrators clinging to their tiny patch of ground like a drowning person clinging to flotsam. .., the young come to college looking for interesting and inspiring adults who will help them to make a spirited transition to adulthood, but for the most part they must abide the kind of process-teaching they have been accustomed to throughout their lives….
How will higher education transform neuro-discoveries into brain-friendly practices that benefit emerging higher education communities?
While it has been about 25 years since advocates of brain based practices suggested connections between brain operations and learning practices, transformational leaders from across a variety of fields, have yet to enhance learning and assessment in ways that respond to emerging global frontiers for higher education.
Dr. Robyn McMaster and I had the privilege of considering brain based possibilities at higher education and business leaders in the West Indies. We asked leaders there: Where would you start to replace traditional with transformational to benefit global education?
Articles for secondary and university race to the top:
1. No Brain Left Behind