Recently, innovation is undoubtedly one of the hottest words in the world. Whether developed or developing countries, all countries are actively seeking a way to become a powerful country driven by innovation and reform. Since the Eighteenth National Congress of the CPC, General Secretary of CPC, Xi Jinping has attached great importance to innovation and development. In many speeches and discussions, he has repeatedly emphasized innovation, covering the fields of science, technology, education, culture, and how to innovate in theory and system.
The Importance of Scientific and Technological Innovation and Educational Innovation
In many aspects of innovation, the status and role of scientific and technological innovation and educational innovation are prominent, and the space is also vast. The former is the "engine" of the transformation and upgrading of the real economy, and the "locomotive" of the high-quality development. The latter is the objective requirement of the strategy of rejuvenating the country through science and education, and the key path to realize the talent power.
Does education innovation lead scientific and technological innovation and then trigger social change? Or does scientific and technological innovation drive educational innovation under the condition of social change? Innovation is not only a theoretical issue, but also a major practical issue. Exploring the relationship between scientific and technological innovation and educational innovation will help us better understand and carry out relevant innovative practices.
In his book Digital Survival published in 1996, the founder of MIT Media Laboratory, Negroponte, tells a story about a surgeon who traveled through a modern operating room in the middle of the 19th century and was completely unfamiliar with surgical instruments and how to operate them, because modern technology has changed surgical medicine. A 19th-century teacher took the time machine to a modern classroom and found that he could quickly take over the whip from his peers in addition to the different content of the course, because the modern teaching method does not have fundamental changes compared with 150 years ago.
From the mid-18th century to the mid-20th century, the leap of science and technology has brought mankind into the era of steam engine and electricity. In the past 200 years of the two industrial revolutions, the mainstream teaching methods have remained almost unchanged. With the rise of modern universities, teaching and combined scientific researches. the spirit of science and humanism has become a social trend of thought. Many outstanding scientists have emerged one after another, creating scientific and technological achievements recorded in the history books. Education has become a powerful motive for scientific and technological innovation, and some western countries have thus stood on the high ground of science and technology.
Since the mid-20th century, human beings have entered the third industrial revolution, and the technological innovation represented by information technology has accelerated remarkably. Some new ideas, theories and applications have gradually entered the field of education. However, during this period, the demand for talents in social development is still mainly focused on material production activities that can meet large-scale and replicable needs. Educational innovation is not in full swing because of scientific and technological innovation. Jobs once questioned why computers have changed almost every field, but had a surprisingly small impact on school education.
The Urgency of Educational Innovation is Unprecedented
Today, the new industrial revolution begins to reconstruct people's learning, life and thinking mode. Society needs new talents with innovative and entrepreneurial thinking, consciousness, spirit and ability. The urgency of educational innovation has been raised to an unprecedented height. On the one hand, unprecedented changes in the times and rapid technological innovation need to train more innovative talents by broader and deeper educational innovation; on the other hand, educational innovation is the need for further development of education itself, which will happen when the external conditions and opportunities are ripe. Currently, scientific and technological innovation not only calls for educational innovation, but also empowers educational innovation.
A vivid example is about personalized education. About 2500 years ago, Confucius put forward the educational ideal of "providing education for all people without discrimination" and "teaching students in accordance with their aptitude". In the development of modern society, the popularization of education has been gradually realized, but personalized training has always been a difficult problem. Nowadays, the problem is no longer difficult. Advanced science and technology, such as Internet, artificial intelligence, big data and virtual reality, have entered the field of education. Various forms of education are breaking multiple barriers and making personalized education easier to achieve worldwide.
It can be said that scientific and technological innovation and educational innovation complement and promote each other, but the "nature" is different. Science and technology lay stress on the creation and use of materials, and ultimately serve people; education lays stress on the cultivation of people, so that people can achieve sustainable development with the help of science and technology. The time cycle of scientific and technological innovation and educational innovation is different from the required conditions, but the integration and interaction of the two in the progressive cycle will jointly promote social progress.
The Motivation Model of Educational Innovation
At present, with the ability of scientific and technological innovation, how should educational innovation work in practice?
If we focus on the practical scope of innovation at the grass-roots level of education, that is, schools are the main bodies, then the integrity and substantive innovation of education should effectively improve the quality of education through innovation of education mode, education content, teaching methods and technology application. Among them, the innovation of education mode should be in the forefront, which corresponds to the educational concept and orientation of the school itself. Although breaking the "one side of a thousand schools" and seeking diversified and characteristic development has become the consensus of the educational circles, many schools still take the traditional education mode as the leading factor, and have not solved the problem of "how to cultivate the talents that they want to cultivate" through the reform. The purpose of educational innovation is to provide strong talent support for scientific and technological innovation and social progress. This goal must be achieved through the "people-centered" education model. At present, if we want to speed up the cultivation of scientific and technological innovative talents to adapt to and lead the new round of economic development and industrial transformation, we should pay more attention to the intellectual and non-intellectual characteristics that innovative talents should possess: a strong thirst for knowledge, a strong sense of innovation, open and agile innovative thinking, solid application of technical knowledge and innovative ability, rich practical experience, and a good sense of cooperation, knowledge, profound humanities and so on. These characteristics are not formed independently. They are closely related to the comprehensive quality and sustainable development of human beings. Individual independent thought and personality development are prerequisites.
The Era Mission of Mixed Education
To solve the problems existing in traditional education, mixed education is the best choice. It advocates taking students' individualized learning and lifelong development as the center, combining traditional classroom face-to-face learning with students' online autonomous learning, making the teaching content more open and comprehensive, taking problems as the starting point of learning, giving priority to exploratory activities in the classroom, stressing interactive and cooperative learning as the main learning form, and tracking and analyzing students' learning process comprehensively through artificial intelligence and big data technology. And the effect, evaluation is more intelligent, accurate and personalized. Mixed education is the organic integration of mixed teaching and learning, and the overall reconstruction of the traditional education model. Once the mixed education model is constructed, educators should upgrade the educational technology and application immediately. On the one hand, the new education model needs the digital resources and environment to match it as a guarantee; on the other hand, the application of new technology is more conducive to students' "immersion" in scientific and technological innovation.
Of course, although educational technology can change teaching and replace some jobs that can only be undertaken by people, it is only a means of assisting teachers. Teachers are still the leaders of the precise implementation of educational model, and the independent innovation of teaching content is also given higher requirements. In mixed teaching, teachers' direct guidance is relatively few. The change of teaching methods brought by technological innovation can guide and strengthen students' self-learning. Students can control some elements of learning by themselves, decide the learning place and pace, which will promote the transformation of education to the way of "learners' autonomous choice of learning experience and growth path".
With the extension of mixed education from classroom, curriculum, discipline and specialty to the mixing of different schools or inter-agency cooperation outside school, the school wall will gradually disappear. New learning management models such as credit bank will enable more and more learners to gain benefits from various schools, study accurately and achieve personalized development for life on demand. In this way, mixed teaching will accumulate resources and improve conditions for the construction of lifelong education system, accelerate the construction of learning society, and more effectively promote future scientific and technological innovation and social progress.
The future development of education is to make networking, digitalization, individualization and lifelong as the key points of practical innovation, and strive to achieve more open, more humanistic, more equal and more sustainable education. Premier Li Keqiang encouraged teachers and students during his visit to Dalian Neusoft University of Information in June 2017: "You face the future, represent the future, and will surely be able to grasp the future. "Only future-oriented education can cultivate talents who master the future. Educational innovation is the trend of the times, the expectation of a powerful country, and the mission we must carry out.
(The author is Secretary and President of the Party Committee of Dalian Neusoft University of Information)
The article was published on April 11, 2004 on China Educational Journal. Please click for the original text.