This week we invited Ioana Mischie, a futurist and transmedia artist working with creative writing, film, and virtual reality, and Howard Blumenthal, a television and new media creative, to discuss the future of education and the role of children in shaping the field. Mischie’s work includes Government of Children and Tangible Utopias, which both place children as the arbiters of new types of governments and cities, and Blumenthal was heavily influenced by his time on Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? to interview children around the world for his series, Kids on Earth in the 21st Century. The two note general differences amongst different populations of children; areas with greater civic education from an earlier age tend to be more involved in social issues such as immigration reform and class, whereas those without that background might be more distanced. For the most part, though, both Mischie and Blumenthal agree that children are more willing to respect different perspectives and compromise than adults. They’re also full of simple yet potentially innovative ideas; they note concepts such as multi-level traffic systems and cities built for people, animals, and vegetation that have come up in their conversations with students. They argue that the best way to formulate these ideas is through the power of play, a method the current education system suppresses by institutionalizing and protecting teaching, not learning. Together, the two guests posit a better education system that brings together people of different disciples, producing ideas that are imaginative, co-creative, and tangible. It is also important to draw from the most successful elements of all methods of schooling while also incorporating self-education. Most importantly, however, we must give children a stronger platform, which would look like eliminating some rules and providing them rights in school that parallel those of adults. In other words, education must allow children to tell their stories.
A full transcript of this episode will be available soon!
Here are some of the references from this episode, for those who want to dig a little deeper:
Some of Mischie’s works:
Government of Children
Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, which Blumenthal developed
OMNIVERSITY, a VR university founded by Mischie
Art Linkletter – Kids Say the Darnedest Things
Linda Ellerbee – Nick News
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School’s Out by Alice Cooper
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Spaceship by Lesion X https://soundcloud.com/lesionxbeats
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