There are, I propose, three types of students. Taking a framework proposed by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his book Anti-Fragile as a point of departure, I want to suggest that in a world of increasing disorder, including economic crisis, erosion of social programs, climate change, war and terrorism, obvious categories or modes emerge. A student is predominantly fragile, resilient or self-transcending in relation to the turmoil amplified by the current form of globalization.
The fragile or precarious, to some degree, live like the mythical Damocles. They may seem to be enjoying themselves but a metaphorical sword hangs by a thread over them. This type of student can be self-expressive in class, but lacks the self-mastery needed to deal with the challenges that our contemporary society presents. They do not yet have the ability to learn continuously, in the sense that they dislike making errors more than they enjoy acquiring knowledge from their mistakes. They lack the capacity to engage in additional professional development, tied down by debt repayment or short-sighted spending habits. If there is an economic crisis they are the students who experience it first and hardest. Most of their intellectual discovery occurs in class. Outside of the educational institution they are continuously un-learning because mainstream society's implicit pedagogy produced by multi-tasking, relentless channel surfing and obsessive texting, undermines the concentration skills developed through a college or university course. The precarious because of their situation or approach, have little room to manoeuvre.
Read entire article here: http://rabble.ca/columnists/2013/06/pedagogy-age-disorder