Creating the Future's Schools

By Hedley Beare | Go to book overview

5

The networked universe

The living planetary system

As Zohar and Marshall (1994:7) have neatly put it, ‘the whole mechanistic paradigm can no longer cope with contemporary reality’. The previous two chapters have dealt with the fact that about three hundred years ago in Europe, a combination of the Scientific Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution and European colonization of much of the world led people to liken the universe to a machine which worked on rational lines and by unchanging rules. It was a universally favoured analogy. The world was described as a clock and God (‘the Creator’) as the clock-maker. Much of theology was teleological. Organizations (including schools) were viewed the same way and were talked about mechanis-tically; people spoke of their structures and functions; and how to re-engineer them. Schooling was modelled on factories, on the production line, on manufacturing. School architecture followed the factory analogy and schools were even built to look like them. Knowledge was rational, manufactured in the same rule-bound, predictable and conformist way. Science dealt only with things which could be observed and weighed. The whole of creation, indeed, was deemed to run by mechanical and immutable laws.

The most influential criticism of this entrenched view has typically come from those who in the past might have been expected to favour it—from the hard sciences, from the disciplines which have given us such orthodoxies as

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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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