Last week we watched Andrew McAfee introduce us to the Machine Age and the new economy. He briefly touched upon the kind of education this new economy would require of us by discussing his own experiences between the world of discovery he found at Montessori and the “gulag” of public education. After spending his early years in such an open environment, he believed public school sought to do nothing better than sap him of his creativity and prepare him to be a mere cog in a machine. It is McAfee’s firm belief that this is a recipe for failure in the emerging economy. We can no longer prepare children for lives as a “clerk or a laborer;” we must teach them to be innovators and makers.
In order to accomplish that, radical changes must occur. The classroom model of traditional public education will not work. The Montessori pedagogy is an excellent framework for the new kind of learning the new economy will demand. Logan LaPlante takes it a few steps further. He wasn’t happy with the traditional model of education, either. So he hacked it. “Hackers are innovators,” he tells us. “Hackers are people who challenge and change the systems to make them work better.” His new education – which he calls Hackschooling – appears to be working just fine.