Learn to enjoy your run - enjoy the journey
Back in September 2007 I had an epiphany about measurement and wrote "Loneliness of the long distance educationalist". I realised that the reason I started running had been lost and replaced by measurement and analysis.
We should be careful that the act of measuring an activity doesn’t become more important than the activity itself.
Running against the clock - I might as well have been on a treadmill.
Measurement and performance analysis has its place in activities that involve competition, definition and repetition but I started running to explore my inner self and the outside world. Running against the clock - I might as well have been on a treadmill - this is the way some people like it but for me it wasn't the reason I was running outside.
I realised that my experience of running with measurement is a lot like the experience in education with measurement - it changes the activity. Education cynically talks about the learning journey but in reality focuses tighter and tighter on (exam) results and the destination with ever greater levels of measurement and performance management.
Children have a natural “thirst” for learning, experimentation and play but in so many this disappears and as they pass through the school system and like my running against the clock the purpose of education can be lost and spoilt by testing and measurement to such an extent that for many young people learning in school painful and alienating. The education system itself is possibly one of the causal factors in the problems we have with young people today.
The education system is configured and stuck in developing the workforce skills of the previous century
The education system is configured and stuck in developing the workforce skills of the previous century - what Harold Jarche calls ‘Labour’ - compliance, diligence, and intelligence for routine work and standardized jobs. Our education system has thunked down to measuring, testing and training routine and standardised skills on treadmills rather than education.
Our education systems need to change radically to focus on learning rather than labour.
Rapid changes in technology are causing life to become anything but routine and standardized. The information revolution is just getting started and there is the potential for radical change and uncertainty ahead - our future generations will need the skills to adapt to the unknown and deal with uncertainty. Routine and standardised skills and work are expected to be dis-intermediated by new technology - learning is the key survival skill for an unknown and uncertain future and our education systems need to change radically to focus on learning rather than labour.
For the sake of our future the education system needs to be able to learn and be able to change. The education system must find a way to accommodate and not just assimilate and it must accommodate curiosity, creativity and imagination as well as more easily tested and measured rational analytical behaviours.
I run to learn and I am still learning to run - I will be writing a short series of blog posts about this called "running lessons" - lessons for life and the world of education.
"connected curiosity" ~ Harold Jarche