Templating Education

From a recent presentation by Audrey Watters, The Future of Education: Programmed or Programmable:

Of course, you could argue that the education system is already incredibly interested in “templating” students as well as “templating” knowledge. We see this in graduation requirements, course requirements, essay requirements, disciplinary requirements, tenure requirements, and so on. Many education technologies loyally reinscribe these into the digital world. The LMS is perhaps the perfect example. The call for more adaptive technologies (often connected to textbook, assessment, and LMS technologies) – reliant on they are on data models and algorithms – are the next wave of tools that produce the “templated learner.”

Her term “templating” students just seems to perfectly encapsulate the way we do school.

Our whole system is based on the premise that all kids will fit into one of a handful of educational models. If not, they must be “exceptional”, which is edspeak for weird.

And everything we do in school must also fit into a largely traditional set of templates. Otherwise we’re not following “best practices”.

Go read the whole thing (is there video anywhere?). It’s full of great observations and ideas.