Defining Moments

Englishforasians.wordpress is primarily a blog supporting the evolving viewpoints of ESL in Asia for website.

Along the way as author of both sites I have realized that there cannot be piecemeal solutions to the question of transforming education. In a globalized world with new challenges and disruptive technologies, we need to encompass the idea of the Whole Human Being in our conception of Education and in our shaping of the future we would like to leave behind.

In David Graddol’s 2006 report Why Global English May Mean the End of English as a Foreign Language it underscores the point I have been trying to make on my website – that we have to rethink our role and reinvent our participation as a multibillion dollar global industry. At a time when the US and the UK are struggling after the financial crisis 0f 2008 and China and India touted as the next coming superpowers the responsibility to drive 21st Century Education can and should come from Asia. There are moral and social responsibilities that come with being Economic Leaders and Asia should “hold up half the sky ” by spearheading the responsibility of transforming 21st Century Education. We have the resources (English, pool of highly educated people), the financial surplus, the technological capacities and a lot of history and culture to draw from to inform our conception of 21st Century Learning.

We cannot negate the responsibility of transforming learning by an over-reliance on the US or the UK to lead these changes. Whether through organic intellectual or financial collaborations or formal organization of conferences and research it is a matter of will to take up the responsibility.

The first step towards change is to recognize the unfolding of our evolution of formal learning and thus to rethink the way we have come to see “the White Man’s Education” as the only form of Education in our way forward during the Industrial Age.  We could see that the days before the rise of Industrialism Asia fell in love with the West and mimicked her from fashion to lifestyle to ideas of opulence and we allowed the infatuation to lead us into an era of manufacturing, global trade and IT. And in a post-Industrial era the West then started falling in love with everything India, China and South East Asia. Isn’t it then our time, our “Asian Man’s Burden” to lead the transformation of Education from one designed for the Industrial Age to one designed for the Golden Age?

As more and more posts get added over the years some messages that I feel are important to get out there get buried in the archives. Following a more or less chronological order here are the ones I hope get around :

Focusing in the Wrong Places – why the ideas our parents grew up with will destroy the future for our children.

Thoughts that Snowball – All of us, if we were to achieve anything meaningful, must first be motivated by something personal, the discovery of our purpose in life arising from some incident or opportunity that later on shaped our future. This innate drive that arises in us becomes our Dharma. This link contains the first ideas that got me started on this blog and how they continue to crystallize my thinking and motivate my actions towards the creation of the school I had fantasized about as a child.

We, The Last of the 20th Century Parents and Teachers – the apology we would owe our children and their children for failing to prepare them for the future, the mistakes we cannot afford to make.

The Dropout Economy – When being bilingual in English and our own Mother Tongue, having a degree (or two) is not what it takes anymore.

Change we must. ""Change is not merely necessary to life - it is life." ~ Alvin Toffler

Futurists Alvin Toffler (Future Shock)  and Thomas Frey (The Da Vinci Institute) on  Future of Education – the changes we feel need to take place and the arguments for them are not purely our own imagination.

(list to expand soon…..)

"We must rethink our idea of Inteliigence - we are in the midst of a Revolution, we may not live to see the changes but our children will and we must prepare them for that."Sir Ken Robinson, 2006 TED Conference

Thomas Frey, Futurist


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