Over the past few years, I have developed an approach called ‘open source learning.’ The concept, founded in pragmatism and the educational philosophies of John Dewey, has five main elements:
- Lack of hierarchy in the classroom
- Working in groups
- Working in networks
- Knowledge creation in real time
- Knowledge creation for the common good.
I gave a keynote speech on this idea at the “Putting Schools to Work” conference at the great Island School in Eleuthra, Bahamas. By adopting this approach, students come to understand that they have the power to be changemakers. For example, students who have led projects in my open-source learning classes have gone on to found Brighter Planet, Step It Up, 350.org and Power Past Coal.