April 22, 2009

Morning People

Guest post by Eric Grant

One of the themes of the 2020 Forecast is that we need to question our basic assumptions about learning. One of those assumptions is that we should have a building called a “school” and that we should send our kids there every weekday from around 8am until around 3pm.

Well, that assumption, like many that define our current school system, is based upon the needs of adults – in this case, working parents requiring daycare – instead of the needs of kids. And the needs of kids are… sleeping late.

According to this editorial in the New York Times:

Human circadian clocks are often geared to “owl-like” behavior during adolescence. Fortunately, boys tend to grow out of this by about age 20 and girls a year earlier. But there is a good case for schools opening later and experimenting with the timing of the curriculum and of examinations, so that there is a better match between organizational requirements and the capabilities of the students.

There’s a large section of the new Forecast called Altered Bodies that specifically addresses issues of self, identity, mind, and body. Check it out and find out what other assumptions should be challenged.

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