自学宣言

English Version

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这里我们希望可以总结我们目前对于学习的认识,并呼唤进一步的行动以实现未来的学习。

当前的主流的教育模式,也就是这个以课堂教学为主的教学模式,或者叫做强迫式学校学习,只有150年历史。其设计的目的是剥离人的高端功能,只保留低端的功能,这样人可以在流水线上工作并成为流水线的一部分。所以这个教育系统的目的,是为了让人成为一种高级的机器。 (John Taylor Gatto, 美国教育地下史)。 但是在这个新经济的时代,我们需要更多的人去探索知识并拥有独立思考的能力。当前西方世界面临的愈来愈加剧的危机就是因为过时的教育系统不能够满足新的知识经济的需求。所以这是新的教育体系取代旧的教育体系的时代,这个新的教育体系会带来真正的学习。

为此,我们必须跳出课堂的窠臼,在最底层去思考什么是学习和什么是知识。幸运的是,瑟谷,夏山,还有其他许多民主学校,unschooling运动,以及象马克吐温,爱因斯坦这样的很多的自学者,给了我们可以汲取的宝贵的营养。尤其的,我们可以学习瑟谷—–一个没有教室没有课堂没有作业和考试的学校,学生每天的事情就是玩—–超过40多年的实践经验:

  1. 学习永远都是自学的。儿童(成人当然也是的)可以对自己的学习做决定;
  2. 儿童可以通过玩学习任何东西。在瑟谷,儿童可以玩他们喜欢的任何东西;
  3. 儿童可以平等的参与学校的事务。如果有这样的平等的机会,他们一定会有理性有责任的去参与。其实,感受周边的环境并不断改善这个环境是人之为人的一个重要的部分,永远不应该被剥夺;
  4. 儿童可以在他们的日常生活中学习。没有必要出于学习的目的把他们从日常生活隔离开来。他们也不需要就因为学习的目的而和整个社会隔离;
  5. 不应该对儿童施加外在的考试。他们可以自我评估,通过他们自定的目标或者通过玩。儿童应该感知他们自己的空间,而不应该让那个感知能力被不断的外在的考试给破坏掉;
  6. 瑟谷的员工尽他们最大的努力保护儿童们感知空间的能力,包括心内的空间和周边的空间;
  7. 虽然儿童们是自主学习,瑟谷员工仍然起到非常积极的作用。当儿童的学习需求起来的时候,瑟谷员工帮助把学习变得容易一些。实际上,瑟谷员工建设了一个综合的支持性的学习环境。他们建设了一个安全的玩地,让孩子们可以在一起玩。

所以你可以看到,瑟谷经验简单的说其实就是“玩和感知”。因为儿童们可以主导他们自己的学习并且从来没有和生活隔离,他们的学习自然的是兴趣和玩驱动的。上述第二点到第四点是玩的内容。第五和第六是关于感知的。第七是关于如何让学习变得容易些并建立一个玩地的。我这里必须补充说明一点,这个玩地其实是和开源软件运动所创造的这个供软件编程人员玩耍的玩地是很象的,都是把学习曲线变得更平滑一些和让事物能相互的玩起来。

对那些仍然持心有疑虑的,并不是玩耍让孩子们从学习分心,是外在的考试,没有意义的作业和强加的学习科目让他们从学习分心。实际上玩耍提供了学习所有的背景,动力,反馈和目标。他们通过玩来学习。请不要问我为什么要玩。玩是第一位的活动。学习是第二位的活动。请不要为了学习牺牲掉玩。

我们应该保护的不是儿童的学校时间,而是他们的玩耍时间。人从来不会因为玩耍而变成文盲。人变成文盲是因为他们从很小的时候开始就必须不停的没日没夜的工作而没有时间去玩。尤其在当今的这个现代社会,到处都有书店和互联网,没有人会因为玩耍而变成文盲。

我们不仅需要保护儿童们玩耍的时间,我们也需要保护他们停下来感知的时间。我们需要给孩子们时间,让他们可以感知他们自己。瑟谷的孩子可以去自我感知不受打扰,去遵循他们自己心内的生物钟。他们对空间的感知,也不受外在的考试,没有意义的作业,强加的科目的影响。只要他们可以感知自我和周边,以这种很强的感知能力,他们就可以做到在玩中学习。

相信我们,玩并很好的感知是最有效的学习方式。也许对于其他人是杂乱无章的,但是对于身体力行的人,他们是在追随他们的内心,是遵从的自然的顺序,是形散神不散的!

但是这个学习的革命不是只是小孩子的事情。实际上它和我们成人更有关系。因为是我们成人已经忘掉了什么是学习并且经常以一种非常粗暴的方式干涉孩子们的学习。

我们的思维已经带上了“课堂”这个枷锁。没有课堂,不管是物理现实的课堂还是网上虚拟的课堂,我们就不会学习。当然,我们仍然通过我们的潜意识在慢慢的学习。但是那个学习的速度远远不能满足这个变得日益复杂的高级社会的需求。

所以,让我们把瑟谷模式扩展到包括成人的整个社会吧。瑟谷学校是个可以供孩子们安全的玩耍的玩地。对于成人,我们需要把整个社会变成一个更好的玩地!我们需要把整个社会变成一个综合的支持性的学习环境。

故而我们呼唤以下的行动:

  1. 宣布学习自由:个人必须有权利决定该学习什么,怎么学,向谁学,什么时候学和在哪里学习;
  2.  呼唤有能够真正把技术和对学习的理解融合的人。软件程序员需要汲取瑟谷,夏山和其他的民主学校,以及unschooling的经验。他们需要是终生学习的实践者,能够学习掌握几个比较大的领域的知识和技能,有丰富的学习经验。只有这样,我们才能看到技术是如何真正的用于学习的并真正带来学习的革命。尤其是我们需要注意很多的学院已经开始把他们的学习建立在反思的基础上,并且证明了反思能够很有效的把已经习惯学校式学习方式(固化不灵活的)的人转变成善于观察有发现能力能够发现知识,自我驱动去学习的人。反思这个领域也许也是未来学习软件主要发力的地方。从email,到网页,到google,到facebook,以至于云计算和移动互联网,我们都还只是在这个数字化的初始阶段。我们在外缘徘徊了有好几年了,没有去进入那个数字化的核心地带。现在就让我们进入那个核心!让我们开启意识软件的时代!我们都是自学者,让自学变得更容易些!
  3.  呼唤所有的人,不管年龄大小,是否在校,都参与到自学中去,在生活中去学习,用反思工具来帮助他们抓取每天学到的东西并建立其丰富的有良好结构的知识,并同他人分享知识并指导他人的学习。越多的人开始通过自学来在生活中学习,学校就越来越失去其存在的意义。当我们建立起很强的自学社区并且向人们展示自学的强大效果以及学习的丰富性时,我们就可以人们意识到学校以课堂为中心的教学模式的陈旧。这就是新事物取代旧事物的方式;
  4. 呼唤所有的组织一起来把整个社会建设成一个综合的支持性的学习环境。我们需要各个组织承担起他们各自的一部分的教育责任。比如,医院应该成为人们学习关于健康医疗知识的场所,律师事务所应该成为人们学习法律相关知识的场所。我们需要各个组织开放他们的办公空间给年轻人(或者不再那么年轻的人),让他们可以在某些时间段来参观,或者参加实习和其他项目。我们需要建立各种的开放实验室或者创客空间,让人们可以在其中边学边做;
  5. 呼唤以更加综合的方式去评估人的技能。例如,好的思辨能力和在社会中的判断能力。我们可以设计工具或者方法学来让雇佣者比较容易的评估候选人。整个社会需要在如何综合评估人的能力方面变得更加成熟。而上面我们提到的实习其实是其中的重要组成部分。考试应该成为对评估人的考试而不是被评估人的考试,是考验评估人如何去综合的评估个人的能力。随着未来人类社会的进一步数字化,也会有更多的如微博,博客等的个人信息供评估人分析,个人只要做好你在做的事情并能清晰的展现即可,不需要在任何应试上花费任何时间。让考试退出未来的学习!

我们深信未来的学习是在玩中学习。人们充分的去玩,包括去改变他们的环境和参与更广阔的社会。而学习的部分是可以通过更好的感知来完成的。打坐是种帮助增强感知能力的方式。我们也可以通过软件来帮助人们抓取他们的感受并进行反思,同时建立起拥有良好结构的知识并进行分享。每个人都可以成为老师,并在他们的业余时间就可以进行教学。对于那些在他们的本行业做得很优秀的真正拥有领域知识的人,有效的教学的门槛会变得很低。我们相信未来的学习和教学会是以这样的方式进行。人们不再需要把自己关在一个封闭的环境里很多年不接触社会,就为了学习的目的。那实在太工业化时代了。如今已经是信息时代。人们应该可以不间断的自然的用他们从很小的时候就使用的学习方式来学习,即在玩中学习。整个社会会变成一个支持性的综合学习环境。这是我们对未来学习的愿景

自从人类历史开始,自学就一直是人类学习的方式,并且贯穿了人类的整个历史,即使是在强迫式学校的黑暗时代。从完成其设计目的的角度,强迫式学校应该是成功的。但是在我们进入新的经济时代,我们需要更多的拥有独立思考能力可以独立探索知识的人,这时,我们必须对强迫式学校说:“你的任务已经完成。解散吧!” 现在是时候让真正的学习出场了!现在是时候让人成为完整的人,让人可以发挥出其所有的潜力了! 在我们的时代,自学将不再是少数人的选择,而是将形成规模成为社会主流的学习方式。过去,强迫式学校被设计来阻止人们去理解整体以成为企业家,在这个新经济的时代,我们需要更多的人能够理解整体并成为企业家。我们需要更多的人去探索社会知识,创造社会产品并解决社会问题。这个时代是关于我们的幸福的时代!

所以,让我们一起实现学习的真正面目吧!

Declaration of Self-learning by Leon Liu et al is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

27 Responses to 自学宣言

  1. Sarah Cao says:

    I am Sarah Cao. I signed it.

  2. Steve Hood says:

    Steve Hood. I signed this.

  3. admin says:

    From Cat’s Cradle:
    “Self-taught, are you?” Julian Castle asked Newt.
    “Isn’t everybody?” Newt inquired.
    “Very good answer.”

    Should I put the above into the manifesto?

  4. admin says:

    Although there seem to be a lot of content in the manifesto and it might seem a little scattered, actually the content is quite coherent and concise. For the first part, Sudubry experiences told us that self-learning is the only way to learn, and children can direct their own learning. Sudbury told us how children learn by playing, by participating in school matters and thus changing their immediate environment, and by paying attention to and being part of larger society. All these prove not only that learning shouldn’t be separated from these activities, but also that these activities are exactly what make learning happen and are what make the children complete and whole human beings. The learning part, the part that reflects on these activities, discerns differences and forms knowledge, help children participate better in these activities later. This part relies a lot on children’s feel of the space, either space internally or space outside. It is this feel of space, the reflection, that makes the learning process. And the knowledge they build up in the process helps them better play the activities later. So this completes the loop and it spirals up. This is the process of life. We don’t need external tests to evaluate children. External tests can never tell if people have grasped the knowledge and it destroys people’s sense of the space. What educators can do is to build up comprehensive supportive learning environment to make learning easier once learning needs arise. So the second part goes deeper in explaining these. The third part thus calls for actions accordingly. First we need to protect the freedom of learning and let people direct their own learning. We need software programmers to look into the reflection part and see how software can help people better do reflection and share that formed knowledge to help other people in their playing. We need people to start learning in real lives, and share what they have learned and thus make real life knowledge richer and make the old education model obsolete. We need to have more comprehensive ways for employers to evaluate candidates. We need all people and organizations to work together to make the whole society a comprehensive supportive learning environment.

    So as you can see, it is quite coherent. I probably lack the English wiring skills to make it a coherent and powerful manifesto. Anyone interested please jump in. This can be a powerful message to lead people to actions that will really bring the future learning to this planet in the earliest time possible.

  5. alex yu says:

    Alex Yu, I signed it.

  6. Jonathan Bisson says:

    To the author: you mention that you possess poor English writing skills. You demonstrate an admirable self-awareness here, but I wonder whether you might receive more support for this declaration if you have someone edit it for grammar, content, and format. Just a friendly suggestion! :)

    Nevertheless, the content is superb. I am Jonathan Bisson and I signed it.

    • admin says:

      Thank you very much for your suggestion, Jonathan! Yes, I should find some friends to help me edit it. Also if you feel interested, you mind doing that? The same as the original manifesto 15, this Declaration of Self-learning is also Creative Commons licensed. Anyone is free to fork it and add their ideas in. I forgot to put the license in initially, which is there now.

  7. Chris Wu says:

    I signed it.
    It is unfortunate that as long as Sudbury Schools operate primary on tuition, it would be only a choice for a few, and the mainstream can easily dismiss them as a luxury.

  8. admin says:

    Children can learn everything by playing. It is not playing that distract them from learning. It is external tests, meaningless homework and subjects that they are not ready to learn that distract them. Actually playing provide all the context, drive, feedback and goals for their learning. They learn by playing. Please don’t ask me why playing. Playing is the primary activity. Learning is the secondary activity. Don’t sacrifice playing for learning.

    Compulsory Schooling not just cut kids out of playing, but also destroy their sense of space. People haven’t learned how to reflect after more than 10 or 20 years in school.

    Above is content I am thinking of blending in the manifesto. I am thinking of making the manifesto shorter and more powerful. Anyone who is capable of good English writing can try.

  9. Haoyu Chen says:

    I also signed it. It’s a great insight for education. Yuanliang is the most persistent person I have ever met on learning. I really admire his continuous effort!

    I agree most part of the view in the manifesto. What I really concern is that how we can practice these ideas in a society. Similar as others, I would concern about the practice of idea, although there are schools like Sudbury Valley School. But is still not enough. We need to consider a school that is not more compatible with current education system.

    Education is a complex system. School is just a component in that system. Every time we think about changing a component in a system, we need realize that a component could perfect only when it is able to work with other parts of system. If not, even though it is a great component, it would be abandoned.

    • Haoyu Chen says:

      Correct my sentence:
      We need to consider a school that is more compatible with current education system.

    • admin says:

      Haoyu, thank you very much for your support! For a discussion, although I agree what you said has some value in it, I want to add two additional points to it.

      First is a quote from Buckminster Fuller: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

      Secondly, it is Compulsory Schooling that is at odds with modern society and not “working with other parts of the system”.

      So maybe it is better to let the discussion go deeper to discuss more specifically what kind of school or learning environment do we really need?

    • admin says:

      Actually I have tried making the change within existing system or watched closely other people trying so. My experiences of that are quite negative. One thing is that it tried to legitimize what is inherently wrong. The other thing is that it is just very ineffective and it takes too much time. So I prefer just replacing it with a new model. It is quicker that way and we don’t run into the danger of getting a twisted model.

  10. admin says:

    More stuff I am thinking of blending in the manifesto:

    So you can see sudubury experiences are simply about playing and feeling. No. 1 is the prerequisite of playing. No. 2 to No.4 are the content of playing. No. 5 and No. 6 are about feeling. No. 7 is about building a playground.

    It is not school time that we have to guarantee our children. It is the play time that we have to guarantee them. People never became illiterate because they played too much. People became illiterate because they had to work day and night from a young age and had no time to play. Especially in the modern world where there are bookstores and internet anywhere, people don’t become illiterate because of playing.

    We also need to guarantee children the time to be with themselves and feel of themselves. Children in Sudbury are given time to be with themselves, to feel their internal clocks. And their feeling of the space is pretected from external tests, meaningless homework and forced upon subjects, which are designed to destroy their sense of space.

    Play while equiped with strong feel is the most efficient way of learning. It may seem chaotic to the outsiders, but for the person doing it, s/he is following her/his own heart and it is by all means well-ordered!

    But this learning revolution is not just about children. It is actually more about us adults because it is us adults who already forgot what is learning and constantly interfere with children’s learning in a violent way.

    We have put our minds into a cage called classroom. And without a classroom, either a physical one or a virtual one, we are unable to learn. Yes, we still learn intuitively and slowly little by little. But that speed of learning cannot catch up with the needs of the new era of economy and an increasingly more sophisticated society. We need to learn a lot more. We need to learn big! We need to understand multiple domains of knowledge and understand the whole world. We need to be entrepreneurs and explore the world. People need to understand the sophisticated society and don’t get fooled by politicians and corporations. We need to build many things to make this world better. We need to empower ourselves by real learning!

    So let’s expand Sudbury School Model to the whole society incuding adults. Sudbury School is a safe playground for children to play together. For the adults, let’s turn the whole society into a better playground! Let’s make the whole society a comprehensive supportive learning environment!

    • admin says:

      Will this make the manifesto too long? I still think the manifesto can be short and powerful. Someone with better language skills just need to take up the task. Forking is also welcome!

  11. admin says:

    I strongly believe that the future learning will be all about learn while play. People fully engage in playing, which means several things including improving their environment and participating in larger society. The only learning part can be done by strong feeling. For that we can have meditation sessions that help people feel of themselves and things around (feel of space). We can also have software that help people to capture their experiences and do self-reflection, at the same time build up knowledge and share that knowledge. I believe the future learning and teaching will be in this way. People don’t have to lock themselves up in an isolated environment for so long just for the purpose of learning. That is too industrial age. People learn continuously and naturally in the same way they learn when they are very little: learn by play. The whole society will be the supportive comprehensive learning environment. That is my vision of future learning.

  12. admin says:

    Just updated the manifesto with the 3rd version. I removed the part describing in a deep way what is learning and what is knowledge. That part might be too dry and too forward thinking for many people. I added more content trying to clear the doubts of people who are still thinking in term of classroom based education and thus is dubious of this self-learning based future learning.I think in addition to making a stance for ourselves we also need to build the bridge across so more people can come to our side. Although I removed the deep analysis of what is learning and what is knowledge, I also put emphasis on feel and self-reflection in the manifesto. I think this should be enough for people to get the message and take further actions. If they want to look more closely into the content of self-reflection, surely we have places for them to read more.

  13. Nina says:

    I like your manifesto and I will have a look at it as how to make it shorter over the next few days.

  14. Huang-YiBin says:

    A few things I would do before this go viral:
    0. give it a nickname which can be hashtaged easily(like #Agile, #Scrum) or an acronym that speaks for itself. (like JOBS = Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act)
    1. make a shorter version and a one sentence version
    2. put it in a video under 60s
    3. built an NGO around it and spread the word by forming some workshop around the world under this principle
    4. gave us, the signers, a unique title. (like, The Guardians of the Galaxy, :P) And some stickers would be nice, too. :D

    I’m Huang-YiBin, and I fully support the effort of turning the table of education in a way that each child can be him/herself, follow his/her instinct, learn through playing, and therefore keep the best gift that the old man ever gave us: IMAGINATION & CURIOSITY.

  15. Leon says:

    Just made a shorter version. The longer version can still be viewed in the blog. The current short version might still contain a lot of content, but the words count is actually not big (below 2000). Honestly I feel it is difficult to cut further down. One thing is that we have to include things that make a somehow a complete picture for future learning so people can be confident that this is the future. The other thing is we still have to somehow clear the doubts of people who are accustomed to classroom-based education. So some sentences are still needed to clear their doubts and make them realize this is not just a Utopia or fantasyland but the real learning that will be brought true to everyone in the near future. I removed sentences that try to make a more elaborated explanation so the whole manifesto can be more compact. If people want to read more, at least the longer version is still kept, and also we are thinking of providing discussion points for people to discuss through a mailing group or sth. with what we built here using knowledge engine. I am still looking forward to other people’s efforts in making the manifesto more compact and fluent.

  16. admin says:

    I am thinking of adding more about test into the manifesto by extracting key points from this post regarding test: http://blog.opensourcelearning.org/regarding-test/

  17. admin says:

    I did the translation of the manifesto 15. So you can read it in Chinese: http://www.manifesto15.org/zh/

  18. Kevin Wang says:

    I’m Kevin Wang. I sign it.

  19. admin says:

    For those who think this manifesto might be too harsh on traditional classroom based education, we are just saying it is OK not to follow the supposed only way and it is OK to pursue what you feel you want to learn now. It is OK to learn things layer by layer or little by little, leave it for a while and come back to it. These are OK. If you feel it might be a little challenging, we have this self-learning tool to help you take control of it.

    It is important to “understand” things. And learning is to build up that “understanding”. To gain that understanding, you need the time and space. You need practice in real life, and you need contemplate on it and hold it for a long period of time. You need to come back to it over and over again. You need to learn by yourself. Hence this Declaration of Self-learning! Here at open source learning we strive hard to make self-learning a little easier!

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