Creating the Future's Schools

By Hedley Beare | Go to book overview

4

New ways of knowing

One of the first to draw attention to the changed way in which human beings are beginning to talk about their world and their ordinary realities was Marilyn Ferguson in her book entitled The Aquarian Conspiracy (1980). As both journalist and author, she had been struck by the fact that new views about the way the world works were emerging simultaneously in a number of relatively unrelated fields; she cites medicine, education, the social sciences, economics, government, psychology, religion and politics. The views were not only fundamentally different from traditional orthodoxies, but they were also consistent with each other across those disparate disciplines, the same over-arching idea worked out in different areas of knowledge. She called it ‘the whole-earth conspiracy’, convinced that a fundamental shift was occurring wherein people ‘found themselves rethinking everything’ (Ferguson, 1980:23, 24).

The Catholic scientist-priest Teilhard de Chardin (1959) was constantly being cited, she found. He had invented the term ‘cosmogenesis’ to indicate that new ideas were being generated about how the world was formed, replacing the old creation myths which appeared to have gone out of date and which were no longer being taken seriously by most people. He suggested that human beings, seen by him as a palaeontologist as only one of the species inhabiting planet Earth, were capable not only of continuous transformation (as the other evolving species were) but also of a transcendence which made meaning of it all. Ferguson observed that many others were writing and talking about ‘the ecology of everything’, about connectedness, about what has been termed the ‘everything-hangs-together’ philosophy. Physicists like Paul Davies (1983, 1992) call it TOE, a ‘theory of everything’, a new synthesis of what we have come to know about the universe. We discussed this new perception in Education for the Twenty-First Century (Beare and Slaughter, 1993:11-14).

It is of course a many-faceted development, leading to complexities which

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Creating the Future's Schools
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figures ix
  • Acknowledgements xi
  • 1 - The Myth of the Unchanging School 1
  • Part I - The Big Picture 9
  • 2 - From an Old World-View to a New 11
  • 3 - From a Society of Factories to a Society of Knowledge Workers 23
  • 4 - New Ways of Knowing 36
  • 5 - The Networked Universe 54
  • 6 - From Bureaucracy to Enterprise Networks 65
  • Part II - Looking at the Practicalities 83
  • 7 - Schools Which Break the Mould 85
  • 8 - Choosing What Future to Have 99
  • 9 - Building a Manifesto for the School as a Provider 113
  • 10 - On Reporting Outcomes 128
  • 11 - Reworking the Curriculum Within a New Mindset 144
  • 12 - Teachers for the School of the Future 166
  • 13 - A New Kind of School 186
  • Bibliography 194
  • Index 203
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