21st Century education has changed beyond all recognition. Virtual teaching, flipped classrooms, ungrading, collective syllabi and the teacher as learner are concepts that, for many traditionalists, are foreign terrains. The issues at play are multiple, varied and often polemic. In some instances, it results in calls for a ‘return’ to what is tried and trusted – tests, grades and rote learning. In others, there are calls for more creative, critical and ‘evolved’ approaches – further pushing the boundaries of how we conceive knowledge and its application. In short, there are calls for ever newer schools of thought.
This scenario applies across disciplines: in the design fields of architecture and graphics. In the fields of art and design. In the STEM sector and the social sciences. In the disparate fields of health and business, or media and the creative industries. Despite the conflicting opinions at play, every discipline is seeing more inclusive pedagogy, inverted classrooms and an ever increasing emphasis on student agency. In this context, we have no choice but to assess how we think about school.
Central to this process is critical thinking. How do students learn to be critical – and what does it mean to be critical of teaching? Are the methods we use to communicate knowledge relevant today? Do they engage the modern student, visual learners and the social media generation? While communication is a celebrated core skill in the humanities, and representation is central to disciplinary practice in the arts and design, communication and representation methods in teaching – our modes of delivery – still often go unexamined.
Aiming to explore these broad and interrelated issues, New Schools of Thought – Critical Thinking and Creative Teaching, brings together three universities seeking to better understand the emerging, evolving and established schools of thought in contemporary education. They ask questions in multiple strands including, but not limited to:
> Inclusive Pedagogy. California State University, USA
> Critical Thinking in Teaching and Learning. Universidad de los Andes, Chile.
> Representation in Creative Pedagogy: The arts, humanities and design. Universitas Katolik Parahyangan, Indonesia
AMPS | California State University Los Angeles, USA | Universidad de los Andes, Chile | Universitas Katolik Parahyangan, Indonesia
Image: Jet de la Cruz