The prompt for this post is:
What do you see as the purpose of education? Why might innovation be crucial in education?
During that chat, I said that I saw true education as self-directed and motivated learning, motivated by basic knowledge. I still see that as being true. Remember when education was reserved for the wealthy? Rich, well-connected families hired a private tutor to instruct their child in the information that they needed to "function" in society and to go on to university. Later on, one-room schoolhouses started appearing. Less wealthy students were able to receive an education from a teacher who worked to direct their learning at all levels.
The recent trend of personalized and student-led learning makes me think that we might eventually return to this model, rather than the factory model of education as it exists today. But in this new iteration, knowledge isn't restricted to only the wealthy and well-connected. Nor is the teacher the only one who instructs all the students in the room. Instead, the teacher has a vast wealth of resources (his or her own knowledge and skills, plus all of the experts available via the Internet) to guide students through the learning process of that basic knowledge and the discovery of their own passion-driven learning. Some areas will stay at the level of "basic knowledge" and that's okay.
On the other hand, students will have more time for self-motivated learning and creation. Genius Hour could become Genius Week or Genius Month, devoting more time for students to work towards learning and doing more of what THEY want to learn. The key, of course, is to inspire students who WANT to learn, who are curious about what else is out there in the world. In my class, I knew that very few of my students were going to go on to be French majors. So how did I inspire them to keep learning, to continue on to AP French, IB French, or French 6? I tried to show them how knowing French opened up new parts of the world to them for discovery. They were able to communicate with and learn from people who spoke something other than English. They could use that knowledge to learn even more about the things that interested them. My passion might not be their passion, but mine could open new avenues of discovery and interaction for what they were passionate about.
How and when will this happen? I don't know, nor do I know exactly what it will look like. But like I said earlier, I have faith that we will eventually find the right combination of solutions.