Dreamscaping Solutions: Education Design

When we dreamscape, we go beyond what we already know and into the possibility of what might be. Education design highlights the possible and allows us to sculpt it into existence.

Most current school models are based on antiquated systems from the industrial and colonial eras, a time when learning was privileged and schools were a means of oppression and control. Since then, the world has drastically changed. Unfortunately, education systems have been slow to adapt. Education design interrogates these models in order to devise better ones.

Education design is the study of learning environments and their structural ecosystems in order to better understand and develop relevant models of learning. Education design doesn’t just look at schools; it dissects the broader support systems, including teacher preparation and support, education policies at both the classroom and larger systemic level, and the organizational management of schools and education programs. In short, education design can be a holistic approach to examining, investigating, and re-imagining current education paradigms.

My own work in education design centers on relevancy in an increasingly globalized and adaptive world, and focuses on sustainable and holistic models. I try to use education design to re-imagine education paradigms, to partner with schools and organizations and explore their current models with them, adapt them if need be, and integrate new systems to better meet the needs of the learner and the community.

My own research in education design also parses how language use and different types of ideologies and power influence the designs of schools and learning models, from classroom level interactions to school wide curricula and even the broader public discourse about education. As I noted earlier, historically, schools were a means of oppression and control. In the United States, schools served as factories of structural genocide through cultural oppression and linguicide for the surviving indigenous nations. This model was replicated around the world. If we truly want to Dreamscape education, we need to understand how those mechanisms of oppression and control still operate within these systems today. We need to examine with critical eyes “No Excuses” charter schools, the school-to-prison pipeline, and the movement to privatize education as schools continue to play a dominant role in controlling and shaping our lives. Education design allows us the possibility of knowing to Dreamscape new solutions.

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3 Comments on “Dreamscaping Solutions: Education Design

  1. Christian, if you could pick out three main books from the library that talk about Education
    Design, which would they be?

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    • Such a great question Adriana! It depends on what aspects of education design interest you. I am currently reading Creative Schools by Ken Robinson, which gives a broad overview of education design in the U.K and U.S. contexts. Tony Wagner’s Creating Innovators and The Global Achievement Gap also touch on the idea of education design on a broader level. If you are interested in curriculua then Arthur K. Ellis’ Exemplars of Curriculum Theory is a good introduction. Earl Shorri’s The Art of Freedom greatly influenced my work in Adult Education and “Nonformal” education programs, as well as the works of Paulo Freire. But those are just the tip of the iceberg!

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      • I think I have much interest in knowing about the technical aspect of education design and learning more about the systematic design of materials. I wrote down your suggestions, I have watched Ken Robinson’s TED talks (so far, one of my favorite speakers) thanks a lot! 🙂

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