Quantum Education: New Realities in Teaching & Learning
by David Sheridan Spangler, Ph.D.
It is no secret that America’s educational system is in crises. According to the 2015 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), out of 71 participating countries, the U.S. ranks 38th in math, and 24th in science. And that doesn’t take into account social-emotional learning factors and behavioral trends. Quantum Education: New Realities in Teaching & Learning is a look at why the current chaos surrounding American education is not arriving at any cohesive plan to transform our system into something that works for our children and our country. Spangler has spent his whole life in the American educational system, first as a student (kindergarten through Ph.D.), and then working as a teacher, professor and administrator in public and private educational programs from pre-school through post-Doctoral studies.
In this edition, Spangler offers new insights into how principles of quantum mechanics can be applied to educational engineering to design a unifying philosophy to help guide teaching and learning in American schools. Cognitive learning needs to be balanced with affective learning in order to achieve a successful and fulfilling education – the popular trend in the “job-training” approach to curricula needs to be balanced with personal growth strategies that will provide the student with reflective tools that allow them to contextualize their place in the world by learning more about who they are and why they do what they do. This type of educational approach acknowledges and addresses the whole child from the inside out: mind, body, spirit and soul. The goal is to balance these aspects of every human, and create resilience and well-being for a successful life as well as a successful job.
The “Quantum Factor” in Spangler’s work is based on scientific research that suggests that nothing that exists has meaning until the observer (you or me) observes it. This has tremendous implications in the field of education. It means that part of the equation for knowledge acquisition is learning who is doing the observing. and why they/we are observing the subject. Quantum science has been around for over sixty years, and although it has been applied in areas other than physics, it’s never been applied to the domain of education until now.