Open Educative Systems

Welcome to Open Educative Systems (OES for short)

a place to envision what we could invent and implement to facilitate conception-to-grave learning in the 21st century.

What are Open Educative Systems?

OES is a system of systems comprised of individuals, institutions, organizations, resources and concepts which all contribute to human learning. When I (Liza Loop) started thinking about what to do with our failing, punitive schools in the early 1970's, most of the elements of OES did not exist in Western society. Today (2015) many OES elements have been implemented in different parts of the planet. Unfortunately these pieces rarely interact with each other so it is difficult to view them as a connected whole.

This wiki site has two purposes:

1st: We can elaborate the characteristics of the institutions (pieces or elements of an OES) and point to examples of where they exist in rudimentary or well developed forms around the world in the 21st century.

2nd: We can describe how to build and strengthen relationships among these institutions so that learners of any age (including individuals and learning organizations) can use "the system" to direct their own learning, access the resources they need to do this and acquire the social signifiers (credentials, certificate or badges) that testify to their learning accomplishments.

How to begin?:

I like to invite audiences and readers to begin by breaking out of our normal ways of thinking about education. So, for a moment, imagine that you have just joined a development team with me. Our assignment is to design an educative system to send to Mars with the departing colonists. These men, women and children will awake from suspended animation after their one-way journey to an alien world devoid of infrastructure. They will have to use the techniques they take with them to set up a new civilization and pass on something of their old culture. What do we send with them? Surely the traditional little red school house with its teacher-centered classrooms is not the only possible model they might implement. Let's brainstorm to envision new ways to support learning on a new planet.

An alternative approach is to analyze the educational system we have now in terms of the various goals, functions and outcomes we attempt, the institutions and organizations we set up and the processes we set in motion. Such analysis has been going on for decades, if not centuries, and usually results in educational reform that tinkers around the edges of our schools, colleges and universities but shies away from questioning the basic structures on which our educational systems rest. The result is often less that stellar and, year after year, we report to ourselves that education is broken.

For the analytic, as compared to the visionary, approach to bring about fundamental change in the way we support learning we will have to go deeper. We will have to question whether our traditional concepts of classroom instruction and teacher-pupil relationships are optimal solutions in today's world of computer-augmented communications, exponentially exploding knowledge and life-styles that change significantly in less than a generation.

The ideas and information collected in this wiki site are intended to stimulate your thinking no matter how you prefer to enter the arena of new ways to learn and teach. Read a little and write a lot. If you've addressed these issues elsewhere, add links to where other participants can find your work. Cite books, articles, websites, blogs, videos. We will learn from each other. And, let's have some fun.

Navigating through this wiki

This wiki is a work in progress (that's why we have used the wiki platform). The left hand column will take you to named pages but the natural structure of wikis is completely flat. Logical paths must be created by links put on each page by page authors. Not every author is rigorous about adding these links so you may find you jump around a lot. As the wiki grows the managers will try to make a more coherent structure. For now, just explore.

This page will help you see how this web site was organized:

Hierarchical Site Map

An Earlier Introductory Note...

Much has been written and spoken about what is wrong with the educational systems available around the world today (2009). Suggestions include increasing individualization, using more electronic technology, making classrooms more learner-centered as compared with teacher-centered and upping the relevance of the curriculum. Reformers advocate promoting critical thinking, taking advantage of multiple intelligences, constructivist/discovery/project-based learning and longer schools days. The Back-to-basics and No-child-left-behind movements are familiar to most people who have interacted with elementary and secondary schools in the US. We hear employers complain that college graduates are ill-prepared for reading, writing or collaboration in the workplace. Even universities are under fire for granting irrelevant degrees. It seems that no matter what we do our educational institutions snap back to the old ways, the tried-and-true methods of teaching.

It's high time for a new approach! That's what this web site is about.

Here's a good exposition of the educational perspective that informs this site:
.Sir Kenneth Robinson explains what's wrong with education today.

Ready to tackle this problem? Just want to see what some of us have to say? Click to continue

According to an IBM White Paper entitled "Living in the Information Society"

VII. Conclusions
...No integrated system of lifelong learning exists today. Although there are many new approaches to education (voucher programs, charter schools, online universities, etc.), these innovations do not combine with the traditional forms of education to create a cohesive, seamless system that meets society's needs. Business, government and education all share responsibility for creating a more open educational system

End of opening page. Click on an underlined link in the panel above or one of the pages listed in the left hand column.