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Colloquium - Collins

The Second Educational Revolution: From Apprenticeship to Schooling to Lifelong Learning
Northwestern University
10/20/2006
12:00pm-2:00pm

The thesis of the talk is that the transition from apprenticeship to universal schooling was precipitated by the form an agricultural society to an industrial society. In the process, the state took over responsibility for education from parents and individuals. As school was extended over the years, there was a frontloading of more and more knowledge that students needed to learn. We are now going through a similar transformation from an industrial to a knowledge society, which is propelling another revolution in education. We see the seeds of a new education system forming in the explosion of home schooling, workplace learning, distance education, learning and technology centers, technical certification, adult education, etc. All these new forms of education are enabled by technology. We are moving from just-in-case learning to just-in-time learning. Parents and individuals are taking back responsibility for education. Schools will always be with us, but their role in education is diminishing.

Dr. Allan Collins is Professor Emeritus of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. He is a member of the National Academy of Education, a fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, and served as a founding editor of the journal Cognitive Science and as first chair of the Cognitive Science Society. He is best known in psychology for his work on semantic memory and mental models, in artificial intelligence for his work on plausible reasoning and intelligent tutoring systems, and in education for his work on inquiry teaching, cognitive apprenticeship, situated learning, epistemic games, and systemic validity in educational testing. From 1991 to 1994 he was Co-Director of the US Department of Education's Center for Technology in Education centered at Bank Street College of Education.

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