Generating innovative minds for Europe

Nieuws | de redactie
16 februari 2009 | “Everywhere in Europe, what we need most are creative minds, minds that think and act freely, free from all outdated prescriptions and regulations (“patterns”) which have penetrated our mind-maps too much.” Klaus Landfried –former president of the German Universities, gives his strategic analysis of what HE and Leuven should realize.

“There is a strong link between innovation and the way we are used to learn: either, first, by being lectured from “above”, being filled up with so called “confirmed knowledge”, passively trying to memorize it for the next examination, but forgetting rapidly after exam what was not really hitting our interest and emotions, our will to comprehend. Or we learn, second, by searching for new knowledge on our own, gently guided by teachers, experiencing by trial and error what is real, what is possible and what is not, experiencing our own responsibility, also in ethical terms, because our efforts to learn are respected and we as personalities are recognized.

I cannot elaborate more extensively on this remarkable difference in the culture of learning, but I do insist that a change in the way children in schools, students in Higher Education Institutions (HEI) and vocational trainees in school and workplace are mobilized to learn will make our whole educational systems much more effective in terms of generating more innovative minds. This does not mean, that learning is made easier, on the contrary, but just more active and self reliant. This insight alone makes the often phrased and very traditional borderline – always drawn by people distant from the process of generating new knowledge – the borderline between teaching and research in HE a pure nonsense.”

Read his contribution to the EPP-innovation seminar in Brussels here on ScienceGuide


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