Wired Magazine recently reported an interesting story about a study suggesting that massive changes in the size of a species could taker as long as 24 million generations to occur. This process is very slow, and part of the reason it takes so long is that there is no one directing the evolution of the species; it happens as a result of a series of incremental (and sometimes contradictory) selective adaptations of the species to its environment.

Schools have taken glacially long to adopt changes, with some classrooms still approximating those of the 19th century. Maybe the problem has not been a lack of leadership, but a lack of patience? If we really wanted the classroom to evolve, maybe we would place external pressures on classrooms which would encourage a different direction, and then be patient as the process of cultural revolution occurred. Perhaps this is the role of the computer; not to itself force change in education, but to change the environment around schools.

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