Teaching and learning are not in themselves new phenomena; they once took place within the routines of daily life. During the early industrialised era, however, these practices came to be increasingly confined to a separate and specialised institution, whose features evolved to encompass, among others, a specific teaching profession, school textbooks aimed at particular stages of the schooling process, weekly teaching schedules and standardised tests. Industrialisation dismantled what had been viewed as social coherence; the “new” sociologies of Weber, Durkheim and Marx were concerned with attempting to understand the consequences for society of the profound changes in the economy, morality, religion, and in the distribution of social wealth which emerged in industrialisation’s wake. These changes did not pass the field of education by. In Germany, Herbart, and later Nohl and Weniger, tried to formulate a philosophy for a reform-oriented education, while in the US Dewey, followed by Kilpatrick and Counts, tried to address this issue. Their work offers us insights into the tension between principles promulgated by and centred around state, national or federal authorities and progressivist ideas focusing on the individual, as well as that between more general ideas of “Bildung”, education as an aim in and of itself, and concepts of a more specific nature revolving around education for the labour market and for trades and professions.We now appear to find ourselves facing a new kind of social revolution, whose core manifestation appears in the changes sweeping the world with the advance of globalisation, multimedia and digitised communication, which once again appear to be changing the social structures as well as, among other things, relationships between producers and consumers of information. These changes have profound implications for teaching and learning in schools and for the ways in which we respond to the new challenges they bring. This article will outline a potential multimodal approach to these issues, drawing on design theory.
Germany: Georg-Eckert-Institut Leibniz-Institut für internationale Schulbuchsforschung , 2013. 18-21 p.