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Time to Know: Changing classrooms

Right after I posted a rant on how systems reduce innovation, I came across this article on an a start up called Time to Know.

If you’re ever asked to criticize today’s education system, say something like “industrial paradigm” or “if you took a teacher from 100 years ago, he/she would feel right at home today”. Both of these are irritating and inaccurate phrases that pop up in this article. We also encounter “rich exploration applets” and “full digital curriculum coverage”. Time to Know will likely succeed, because it integrates with the value points of the existing education system. But it’s not a good model as a whole. Parts are helpful – such as the emphasis on feedback and monitoring. But why would a school want prepackaged curriculum? Or wait – the better we systematize education, the better it becomes. Systems over social interaction. Structure over exploration.


  1. Do you have better terms for putting out a worldwide curriculum in lessons in subject areas in grade levels complete with teacher controls and assessment? Sounds like factory system gone corporate to me.
    I agree completely with your reasoning, but not your language. All of life is systemic. Social interaction results in organic, self-organizing systems, like communities.
    Distinguishing types of systems is important. Systems science, its taxonomy, vocabulary, and tools hasn’t quite formed up yet. It’s coming. It’s a self-organizing process.

    Friday, February 5, 2010 at 11:36 am | Permalink
  2. Zac Chase wrote:

    Wait, so both of these statements are true? “Time To Know discovered from its pilots that American teachers stuck to the structured curriculum, while Israeli teachers took advantage of the flexibility at their disposal and enriched the curriculum with external materials.”
    ” Teachers also reported an increased sense of empowerment to guide and support the learning process.”
    So, the teachers felt empowered, but didn’t feel the need to utilize that empowerment. Just knowing it was there was enough.
    I don’t reject the idea outright. I mean, SLA abides by both the Infrastructure and Support & Professional Services tenets of Time to Know. After that, we jump the track a bit.
    My real concern is that this might be held up as an example of the ideal of teacher as facilitator rathe than teacher. It seems a bit of a stagnant use of the most experienced person in the room.
    Thank you for posting. It’s certainly got me thinking.

    Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 9:22 am | Permalink