Category Archives: Windesheim Honours Programme

Innovation and education: the third re-birth is coming!

20140430_095102892_iOSThe debate about innovation and education is ongoing. I have been hearing about this since a decade ago, when I landed in the academic field. So, what’s new?. The impact of technology have forced a change in the way we teach, from chalk to digital pen. Although I know teachers who still want to use talk and chalk (and as long that works I think is a legitimated tool as all the others), most of us have been moved into sharing the space of our storytelling talent with the tedious powerpoint, beamer, digital boards (which actually never seems to work as they promised will do) and to incorporate all kind of tricks and treats into our lectures. Teachers have almost been forced to become entertainers.

Are we then assisting to a third re-birth of learning? I say the third because the first one took place during the Renaissance and the second during the industrial revolution. Let’s take a short look back.

Third re-birth of learning

During the 14th and 15th century in Europe, we saw how scholars start focusing more in humanistic topics and areas, switching from religious to more secular approaches. Humanistic lectures took over the floor at the major universities in Europe and started to discuss about the meaning of things, more than the memorizing techniques of previous academics. And in order to find meaning of things, the students needed to know not only about the exact sciences and the mysticism of the religious texts, but also to take a look into art, philosophy, astronomy, history, poetry, literature and the classics, the Greeks… In the Netherlands, the Moderna Devotia brought even a bigger revolution, the possibility for woman to access the same forms of education than men, despite the fact they probably were kept even busier with extracurricular activities such as needlework, dancing and probably cooking. We have to understand that most of the population at that time were not able to read. Most of the transmission of knowledge was done orally. However, the invention of the printing press in the mid 15th century made books widely available and this translated into an increased literacy rates all across Europe. No question, that was probably a big revolution for them, as it has been for us, lectures of today, the impact of technology and social media. This video recreates perfectly my comparison, with a fine sense of humor.

Gamification in education

The easy access to books created a new revolution inside the classrooms. Reading was an important part of all curriculums around Europe. Culture was linked to reading. Translation of books started back then to make knowledge available to people who could not read in Latin or old Greek. The classics were suddenly available for everyone. It was then as well a sense of innovation in education, looking at forms and methods that could improve the process of learning.

Nowadays, where a lot of modern lectures are experimenting with gaming as a tool for teaching, we should not forget that back in the 17th century, John Locke already introduced games as part of the educational process. He influenced considerably the education in Britain and North America and his work In Some Thoughts Concerning Education (1697) already points out to the complexity of learning and he points out to techniques of practical learning, for example through games.

Human Capital in boxes

It was the industrial revolution which seemed to damage that process of innovation started back in the Renaissance. We needed to standardize education as we were doing with the production of things! Education was another form of industry and the students were products that needed to be organized, classified, tagged, and deliver in bunches of ages, subjects, capacities and grades. We dehumanized  the humanistic approach and start delivering human capital in boxes. The education system was as well one of the tools to start building national identities and defining the nation state concept.

It looks like this system was working well for decades. At least our governments thought so, not even considering that the protests of students and lectures during the last decades in different countries around Europe were, more than a sign of rebellion, a symptom of a serious illness. Education as we know it, is dying. We cannot teach future generations to fix the problems created in the last two centuries with the same tools which created those problems in the first place.

Join the New Renaissance

This time the revolution is starting down upwards. While top down measures and legislation is still stacked in structures of the past two centuries, students and lectures are already moving in the 21st century and they are even visioning the 22nd century as we speak. As the nation state concept dilutes in the globalised world, the education as a tool from the nation state reclaims no borders. While the educational institutions’ understanding of applying technology limits to boring and unfriendly Learning Management Systems, students and lectures are trying to break the walls of the classrooms by engaging with others using all kinds of technologies, not even forgetting the most powerful one: face-to-face. While governments are deciding to take arts and humanities out of the curriculums all across Europe, students and lectures are demanding a new Renaissance. A humanistic approach to all forms of education, because after all, we are humans. While ministries of education and educational institutions sell to be thinking out-of-the-box by investing millions in stupid learning systems and digiboards that do not work and lack maintenance, students and lectures are now, more than ever, thinking with and in-the-global-box to speak out loud that we do not live in a world of boxes anymore, that one size does not fit all, that A’s and B’s and C’s do not speak for who we are, that education is a serious business and the only tool for freedom and contribution to a better society. I am in for this new re-birth of education! Who dares to join?

By María Garcia Alvarez

Vuur en Wad … ontwaken!

IMG_3677Zaterdagochtend 04.30, de wekker gaat! Aardedonker, stilte op het Hogeland. Schiet mijn kleren aan, grijp een appel en sta buiten. Wachtend op de studenten van het Windesheim Honours Programme. Tijd voor een awakening op het Wad.

Down the U

De awakening is onderdeel van de pressure cooker Getting Things Done. Een 24 uur durende challenge, waarbij de studenten van het eenjarige Windesheim Honours Programma, hoofd, hart en handen gebruiken om hun uitdagingen een sprong voorwaarts te brengen. Best kort 24 uur? Niet als je weet dat de meesten tussen de 2,5 en 4 uur slapen. Een enkeling zelfs helemaal niet.  Kortom een halve werkweek to get things done!

In de 24 uur geven de multidisciplinaire studententeams een boost aan een strategisch vraagstuk van een bedrijf.  Echte bedrijven met echte wicked problems! Een semester lang werken de studenten aan innovatie, scenario’s en een goed advies. Het weekend werkt daarbinnen als een booster. Studenten worden uitgedaagd om echt down the U te gaan. Hun oordeel uit te stellen, te onderzoeken, echt te kijken, te luisteren, aannames te onderzoeken en heel veel te prototypen.  Ervarend leren op een unieke plek vlakbij het Wad!

Individual Learning Journey

Elke student gaat binnen het eenjarige programma de individuele uitdaging aan zijn individual learning journey te optimaliseren. ‘Wie ben ik, wie kan ik worden’, wat zijn mijn kwaliteiten, waar zet ik ze voor in, welke waarde wil ik toevoegen. Nu en later! Dromen, kijken naar blokkades, loslaten en realiseren. Het weekend geeft er extra diepte aan! Onderstaand de sfeerimpressie van een journaling oefening op het Wad! 05.00 uur ‘s ochtends in stilte de uitdaging met je zelf aangaan … tijdens het ontwaken van de wereld!

Shot by iPhone

Een korte sfeerimpressie ‘Shot and edited by iPhone’

Zin om samen te reflecteren, bij grote vuren? Meer weten over expeditie of het Honours Programme! Hems Zwier (06 21100891)

Dragons’ Den Sociale Innovatie op het Hogeland een succes!

Op vrijdag 12 oktober trokken studenten van het Honours Programma van Windesheim naar Kloosterburen. ‘s Avonds in de oude boerderij Oud Bokum kregen ze te horen dat de lege en koude boerderij binnen 24 uur omgetoverd moest worden tot een Dragons’ Den.

Er mocht keihard gewerkt worden aan de opdracht: ‘Wat kan de toekomst zijn van Oud Bocum en het omliggende gebied’. Een opdracht op het gebied van sociale innovatie in een gebied (het Hogeland) waar de woorden krimp en ontvolking inmiddels ingeburgerd zijn, maar ook een grote creativiteit aan de dag gelegd wordt als het gaat om nieuwe concepten rond zorg, wonen en kwaliteit van leven. In korte tijd werden teams samengesteld en werden de mobile field offices ingericht. In ketelhuis, opkamer en achterhuis was een onwaarschijnlijke bedrijvigheid waar te nemen. In multidisciplinaire teams streden de studenten om het ‘Best innovative idea 2012/2013’.

De studenten werden ondersteund door kunstenaars, een architect, communicatie- en organisatie-deskundigen en trokken hun eigen innovatieve plan.

Een weekend vol ervaringen, om nooit meer te vergeten. ‘s Ochtends vroeg in het donker het wad op om de essentie van het Hogeland te ervaren, ‘s avonds oog in oog met de dragons om de innovatieve ideeën te presenteren . Doorgewinterde bestuurders, experts en ondernemers van het Hogeland traden op als dragons en legden de studenten het vuur positief kritisch aan de schenen. En natuurlijk was er het te enthousiasmeren publiek dat kritisch mocht meestemmen. Mooie innovatieve ideeën zagen het licht!

De Dragons’ Den is een innovatief trainingsconcept van het Social Innovation Lab. De Dragons Den Oud Bokum kwam tot stand in nauwe samenwerking tussen Windesheim en het Social Innovation Lab!