Friday, April 03, 2009

The City as Educator

Cities, Youth, and Technology:Toward a Pedagogy of Autonomy
Robert McClintock
Institute for Learning Technologies
Teachers College, Columbia University
A Contribution to the International Symposium
Zukunft der Jugend
ORF RadioKulturhaus
Vienna, September 20, 2000

This is an excellent insightful lecture about youth, the new media and the role of cities. I really enjoyed it.

With the new media, in school and outside of it, we are putting very powerful tools of inquiry and communication into the hands of students. This action may change significantly the educational ecology prevailing within the city. Reforms, which did not work under prior conditions, may now flourish under emerging conditions. The limitations that undercut the progressive solution to the educational weakness of city life may be quickly overcome. The new media transfer a great deal of educational control to the student. The new media amplify the power of communication and interaction that each young person can employ. A pedagogy of open ended inquiry, which once would inexorably end in frustration and mystification, can now dependably lead to a deep, expansive engagement with powerful ideas and concepts. The exercise of choice, so characteristic of urban life throughout all ages, becomes the driving means of educational work in a well-wired classroom. The power to communicate ideas and accomplishments, essential in the urban effort to create a persona, becomes feasible for anyone who has learned to use the Internet as a locus of self-expression.

The city, extended and universalized with new media, may become the locus where all persons at all places and all times can pursue an intellectually rigorous progressive education. When that happens, the city as educator will be perfected and complete.

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