One key strength to Why School? is not that it denies the need of schools however. Quite the contrary, the book acknowledges that schools would be a good avenue for children to expand on their skills of using technology and access to information as a tool (2012). This can be through self discovery or cooperation with others from as far as the other side of the globe. Richardson discusses how information is now "abundant" not "scarce," and therefore, the traditional high-stakes testing just does not cut it anymore (2012). How can we continue to test kids on information they can simply search up? On the other hand, schools can adhere to a more progressive approach originally laid out by John Dewey, but in a more modern sense, moving students from "content mastery to learning mastery," where learning how to learn is the vital point (2012). Further than just the students, this would mean that the teachers would have to shift their focus as well. In order to do this Richardson suggests sharing helpful data and material with others; helping students "discover" knowledge themselves; connecting with others; focusing on how to learn; doing things that will actually catch an audience's attention; and allowing the learners to have their own experiences and "power" over what they do (2012). With his book, Richardson makes a strong and valid argument for the need for a fully reformed school system. Though I do not agree in entirety with his analysis, his work quite simply makes a lot of sense, and proves to be a valuable read.
Essentially when it comes down to it, I have to support the new school philosophy over the old school one. There is simply something in adapting to the technology provided, and putting emphasis on learning how to learn rather than specifics of what to learn. Especially in today's day and age, when we are inundated with so much information, research skills and finding ways to get to relevant information is all the more important. Additionally, I am all for getting rid of the standardized testing platform. As for the six unlearning, or relearning ideas, there are some I could see myself adopting, and one or two I feel might be a challenge. For instance, sharing my tactics and strategies is something I would have no problems with, yet it might be a little more difficult to get me doing this on some formats, such as twitter. In addition, I might not be the most creative teacher in coming up with ways in which students can discover the curriculum through a long standing activity. On the other hand, I could see myself shifting my lessons to train master learners, and getting them doing real work, such as developing podcasts that can garner and audience as Richardson suggested. Also, in terms of dispatching power to students to give them some agency to their work, I am all for it. I believe students are more likely to learn if they get a say in what they dedicate their studies in, at least to a degree.
Richardson, Will. Why School?: How Education Must Change When Learning and Information Are Everywhere. TED Conferences, 2012. EPUB file.