What would Leonardo da Vinci do with our education system?

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Eveline van Zeeland analyzed Standard Economics and Psychology. She is the operator of the Internet marketing Design and style Lab and a senior lecturer in Exploration and Know-how at HAN. Eveline is the creator of the Essential e book Neuromarketing and of the reserve Promoting Style and design with Shopper Journey Mapping. She is also the creator of a number of scientific papers on the theme of believe in. Van Zeeland is the winner of the PIM Promoting Literature Award 2020 in the Netherlands.

These days, you cannot sit down at a management desk or you will listen to the question “What would Google do if they had been us?” When I was preparing to give the opening keynote speech for the world Inchainge Connect Educator Convention, I requested myself that same problem. Following all, it was intended to be a keynote about modern higher instruction, and Google is the area to be when it will come to innovation. Besides, you know what they say about academics: 12 lecturers, 13 views. So, I made a decision not to put ahead my personal feeling, but rather the eyesight of an esteemed other. Apart from I did not crawl into the head of Google – I thought that was a little bit as well out-of-the-box – but stepped into the footwear of my historical superhero: Leonardo da Vinci.

In the footwear of Da Vinci

Da Vinci lived in the fifteenth century. A century with no smartphones, synthetic intelligence, blended understanding and virtual fact. Thus, you may speculate what I was truly hunting for in him when conversing about revolutionary bigger instruction in the 21st century. Walter Isaacson, who wrote a fantastic biography of this artist and inventor, is quite obvious on this: “The fifteenth century of Leonardo, Columbus and Gutenberg was a time of creation, exploration, and the spread of expertise by new technologies. In short, it was a time like our have. That is why we have substantially to understand from Leonardo.” (Isaacson, 2017, website page 9). So right now, wanting by means of the lenses of Leonardo da Vinci is very appropriate. Particularly now.

Time for a modify

What would this 15th-century genius do if he walked into a college or faculty of larger earning and was allowed to make suggestions to the board? When I started brainstorming that query, I arrived up with 6 Da Vinci suggestions. To start with of all, he would argue that instruction really should be centered on a fundamental curious frame of mind on the element of the university student. When you study out of a feeling of curiosity, you discover pretty otherwise than when you have to master obligatory coursework.

He would not have wanted pupils to do a thing “for university,” but to perform on matters that fascinate them. In Da Vinci’s very well-preserved to-do lists (which I wrote about before in this column), you can obviously see his inquisitive streak.


Other innovators, these as Einstein, also tension the value of curiosity. Einstein: “I have no unique talents, I am just passionately curious.” Da Vinci would thus condition greater instruction in these types of a way as to create liberty in the curriculum. One thing we also simply call portfolio-based mostly mastering, so that college students can give totally free rein to their personal curious character.

Also, Da Vinci would enable pupils choose the time to make observations. He would, I assume, be disgusted with all the models and forms that we give pupils, which for college students are additional of a fill-in-the-blanks physical exercise than an genuine obstacle, and would simply give them pen and paper. “Just go view how water flows,” he would say to his learners for that explanation.

In his own notebook, Da Vinci wrote 730 distinctive results about the circulation of water. His observations showcased a mix of drawings and prepared notes. And it is precisely that variety of mix that is so challenging in today’s electronic age. He would, I believe, be pleased with the analog Bullet Journal Strategy the place aim-oriented observations and notes sort the core. Just as exploration is now taught in the to start with calendar year of virtually each and every study course, Da Vinci would train ‘observation’ in the initially calendar year of each system. Just after all, all fantastic research starts with observation.

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At the stop of the day, it’s all about researching

Wandering by the a variety of educational establishments, he would also grumble about college students, I consider. The college student of the 21st century is not really hectic more than enough with true studies. Da Vinci believed that coming up with good answers and forming an intriguing vision is the result of diligent and complete study. He would like to see real studious souls once more. He would like to see studious souls who are not only ready to delve into the depths, but who can also broaden their scope (currently we get in touch with them T-formed experts). This breadth is essential to be capable to glance past your possess willpower.

70/20/10 model

Da Vinci would abhor the silo structure in larger education and would choose to organize the schooling system in these kinds of a way that students find out to glance outside of their individual boundaries. In carrying out that, nevertheless, connections will need to be created, as in, ‘connect the dots.’ I suspect that is primarily where by he sees the role of the teacher in larger training. The teacher in the Da Vinci education technique does not give recommendations and is not a mentor, but is an inspirer who aids the college student to establish connections.

You can only be an inspirer if you your self are influenced. I do feel Da Vinci would stimulate integrating Google’s 70/20/10 design into increased education, so that equally college students and college expend 10 p.c of their time on inspirational functions, on points that are not at the center of academic procedures (and that is how we end up chatting about Google).

Perform with prototypes

Da Vinci would not be Da Vinci if he did not have learners endlessly producing prototypes. Prototyping was da Vinci’s chief profession, so he would acquire every single possibility to instruct learners to play with a product from a authentic-life problem. These times, this is quite easy to do. Virtual fact would make it feasible to phase into a prototype of the planet you want, and elements like sport-centered-studying allow learners to see how real-planet conclusions turn out in a simulation, and by extension, a prototype.

But the incredibly, incredibly to start with issue Da Vinci would do is bring the strategy of why back into schooling. Most of the points that pupils discover at a larger vocational faculty or college, they are unable to demonstrate why they are discovering them in the first area. For Da Vinci, the why is clearcut and basic: think about what a much better earth seems like and then do your utmost to generate that much better entire world. As significantly as he is involved, that should be the really essence of larger instruction. I could not concur far more with Da Vinci.

About this column:

In a weekly column, alternately prepared by Eveline van Zeeland, Eugène Franken, JP Kroeger, Katleen Gabriels, Carina Weijma, Bernd Maier-Leppla, Willemijn Brouwer and Colinda de Beer, Innovation Origins attempts to figure out what the long term will seem like. These columnists, from time to time joined by guest bloggers, are all working in their very own way to come across remedies to the issues of our time. So tomorrow will be superior. Listed here are all the previous posts.