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Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Perimeter Institute for Learning and Teaching (PILT): the future of the future of education reform.
would like to congratulate President Brown and all us with launching Innovate@BU - a huge step ahead in the University development,
which makes it on par with MIT’s Media Lab, and Harvard’s i-Lab.
all know how profoundly big impact on a society can have an innovative device, design,
or an application.
the most important and lasting effect comes from the growing number of innovators
and inventors fostered and thriving in the nurturing and supportive environment.
initiative may have even broader impact if it spills out outside of Boston University.
Our elementary, middle, and high schools
also need to employ teaching strategies which encourage and cultivate innovativeness
of students. Unfortunately, the study and development of such strategies is in
the very basic stage (http://www.gomars.xyz/nsf.html). That is why for quite some time I have been trying to convince
our Administration and the Board to establishing Boston University Institute
for Learning and Teaching. An initial description of the mission of the Institute
is available below.
My hope is that finally, after launching Innovate@BU our Administration and the Board will have
their hands free for the next truly big initiative. The history of science and business
development shows that pioneers in research and development are usually
rewarded the most. However, in the end, having innovative approaches to
education unpacked, explored, and flourished is more important than the place from
where they are originated. That is why I am sending in the open the idea of the
Institute for Learning and Teaching.
Everyone who pays even slight attention to
news about education knows about the continuous battle between supporters and
opponents of charter schools, voucher schools, and other non-traditional educational
Unfortunately, the clouds of the battle
cover one of the biggest issues of the
contemporary education, which is a significant insufficiency of fundamental
theoretical and technological innovations (countless startups promoting
their apps or gadgets do not make any difference in the field; a serous new type of scientific infrastructure is badly needed ASAP; http://www.teachology.xyz/30uS.html). The main reason
for this insufficiency is not the lack of the resources, but the lack of a
broad collaboration between various professional and scientific groups.
needs its own “Manhattan Project”, or “Apollo Program”, which would
reexamine the well-established paradigms, and would guide a broad search for
new connections and correlations; which would combine newly presented advances
in artificial intelligence with neuroscience to study and analyze multi-layered
universe of individual, group, and institutional learning and teaching; which
would bring in education newly developed technologies, including AI, virtual
reality, augmented reality, top level robotics.
This type of a program can be initiated
via institutionalizing a collaboration between various professional and
scientific groups by establishing a specific institution –an Institute for
Learning and Teaching (the name is tentative, of course).
Within this Institute, professionals from
various universities, intuitions, and companies would be able to join their
effort and expertise.
Below one finds an illustration to the
description of such an Institute.
The description below is basically a copy
of the beautiful description of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
That description is so good, I just simply replaced words “theoretical physics”
with word “education”, or words “learning and teaching” (and added a couple of
statements); but it gives a very good idea of what the description of the new
Institute could be.
Perimeter Institute for Learning and Teaching (PILT)
Perimeter Institute is a leading center
for scientific research, training and educational outreach in foundational and
experimental educational methods, techniques, and technologies. Its mission
is to advance our understanding of the learning and teaching processes,
and to use that understanding for stimulating the breakthroughs that could
transform the education. Perimeter also trains the next generation of educators
through innovative programs, and shares the excitement and wonder of science
with students, teachers and the general public.
We believe breakthroughs are realized through a
collision of intellect,
imagination and inspiration.
Perimeter Institute for Learning and
Teaching is an independent, resident-based research institute devoted to
foundational issues in the field of education at the highest levels of
international excellence. We strive to create a lively and dynamic research
atmosphere where many approaches to fundamental questions, both orthodox and
unorthodox, are pursued simultaneously and where a balance between formal and
phenomenologically-oriented research is established. We are determined to
collaborate constructively with the surrounding academic community, in
particular by creating outstanding educational and research opportunities for
graduate students. We are equally determined to create a world-class
outreach program which conveys the wonder and mystery of the universe and the
importance of future scientific breakthroughs, to the general public in New
England and beyond.
Perimeter’s vision is to create the
world’s foremost center for foundational and experimental educational methods,
techniques, and technologies, uniting public and private partners, and the
world’s best scientific minds, in a shared enterprise to achieve breakthroughs
that will transform our future.
Scientists at Perimeter Institute forge
new, mind-bending ideas about the ultimate nature of human intelligence, from
fundamental grains of learning to essential acts of teaching. At Perimeter, we
reexamine the well-established paradigms, and search for new connections and
correlations. We use newly presented advances in artificial intelligence and
neuroscience to study and analyze multi-layered universe of individual, group,
and institutional learning and teaching. We bring in education newly developed
technologies, including AI, virtual reality, augmented reality, top level
Perimeter is supported through an
innovative public-private partnership – which unites government, individuals,
corporations, and foundations in a shared venture to enable scientific
breakthroughs, nurture scientific talent, and share scientific discovery with
the broader public.