Det här inlägget är skrivet av Richard Gerver och han skickar berättelsen som inspiration till alla #skolvårare här ute. Richard Gerver är en före detta lärare och rådgivare i utbildningsfrågor till Tony Blairs regering som idag föreläser om utbildningsfrågor över hela världen. #skolvårens Helena Roth stötte ihop med Gerver i slutet av april och berättade om rörelsen #skolvåren och Gerver hoppade på tåget direkt. Helena har lovat att hålla Richard uppdaterad om hur #skolvåren går framåt och han har lovat att sprida budskapet i världen. Och här bidrar han med inspiration från sitt arbete med att förändra skolsystemet i världen:
I am well aware that I am a lucky, lucky man; my job means that I get to meet many amazing people. A couple of months ago though, I met a man who has, quite literally, changed the world and I have to confess that I was in awe.
I was in Saudi Arabia, in Riyadh, for a conference on education and new technology. There was a fantastic line up of speakers and over 3000 participants, it was a big deal and shows just how seriously Saudi is taking the future of its education development.
I love listening to other speakers; I learn so much from their insights, their wisdom and their experiences and I was more than a little excited to hear the thoughts of the conference’s opening speaker. I was even more excited to find myself sat next to him in the speaker’s room before the event began and then to have time with him after the event both at the airport and indeed on our flight to London.
Steve, as I like to call him, was the co-founder of Apple; not Jobs, the other one, the one who actually designed the computer. Steve Wozniak, is a relatively shy and unassuming man, a gentleman actually, a man who, unless you knew, would pass you by in the street unnoticed, much like you or I; no show of wealth or status, no bravado or pompous airs, just a normal guy who has happened to change the world!
As a boy, he had two ambitions; one to be an engineer like his father, because he knew that engineers can make the world a better place; the other, to be a teacher; because, well… teachers too can make the world a better place.
Of course engineering won and the rest, as they say, became history but only because of the unique partnership that was born when Steve met Steve.
What I think struck me most about Wozniak was his extraordinary generosity and humanitarian spirit. It was apparent from his earliest days as an inventor He knew he was on to something when he started messing with valves, diodes and soldering irons and he knew that it was something that could lead to amazing things for his fellow man and woman but he also knew that he wasn’t very good at understanding the social impact of his inventions, so he would go to his local computer club and give away his ideas to people that he knew, would find uses for them; he just wanted to make stuff that made life better. It was only when Jobs became properly involved that Apple was born and a business created.
Steve has always instinctively wanted to do good; I asked him what he did with his time now and apart from still inventing, he said that he is in a very privileged place and that actually he was able to go around the place, trying to do good; this included spending a number of years after leaving Apple, working as 5th Grade teacher in a state school near his home; thus fulfilling his other ambition. He loves teachers, saying that they are, “special, special people”. He also believes that, “it is less important what you teach and more important how you learn.”
“Learning,” he says, “must be a personal journey.”
The more I talked to Steve, the more I liked him and the more I thought about how much he demonstrates exactly what the future needs and what we have to help to develop as educators.
He didn’t much like the school system as a child, it restricted his thinking and forced him to study stuff he found totally irrelevant. Once free of the formal and conforming shackles of the school system he was, through unique collaborations and stimulus, able to change the world!
I have met so many enterprising, young entrepreneurs recently, who have chosen to forgo the traditional routes of university and college to strike out on their own and create products that they believe can also change the world. The more I see, the more I am convinced that standardised systems and routes of learning will increasingly hamper our children’s futures and I have to say that I have far more faith in the lived wisdom of a guy like Steve than that of the limited rhetoric of our politicians.
Like Steve did before them, many of our young engineers meet at events called hackathons where together they share thinking, skill and ideas to find new solutions to old problems; exciting meetings that celebrate the ingenuity and creativity of the human mind.
Maybe, just maybe, we should convince Steve to lead a massive hackathon to find the solutions to the future of our education system and yet again… change the world!