L is for Charles Leadbeater: Educational Innovation From The Slums

Charles explains why we need to radically shift the way we think about education.

We need to move away from a view of schooling that was rooted in the 19th Century. This provided many people with basic skills, but it was based on repetition and regurgitation.

Such an approach might fit for living in a supposedly predictable world. But there was a price to pay.

Many students found school boring and lacking relevance. In some cases they developed a sense of ‘learned helplessness’. Societies are still paying a heavy price for these symptoms.

Charles says that new models of education are appearing from the grassroots. Such approaches have a ‘pull’ rather than ‘push’ approach.

Citing his own education, Charles said that he was constantly ‘pushed’ to climb the educational ladder. The new models are based on ‘pulling’ people into them.

Why? The approaches they use are relevant and rewarding. People can immediately apply the skills in their own lives and work.

So where will the future of education be created? Charles suggests it may be by people taking charge of their own learning, rather than in the so-called corridors of power

Charles Leadbeater It's a Big World

Here are excerpts from the TED description of his talk.

Charles Leadbeater’s theories on innovation have compelled some of the world’s largest organizations to rethink their strategies.

A financial journalist turned innovation consultant (for clients ranging from the British government to Microsoft), Leadbeater noticed the rise of “pro-ams” — passionate amateurs who act like professionals, making breakthrough discoveries in many fields, from software to astronomy to kite-surfing. 

His 2004 essay “The Pro-Am Revolution” — which The New York Times called one of the year’s biggest global ideas — highlighted the rise of this new breed of amateur. 

Prominent examples range from the mountain bike to the open-source operating system Linux, from Wikipedia to the Jubilee 2000 campaign, which helped persuade Western nations to cancel more than $30 billion in third-world debt.

You can learn more about his work at his web site.



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