We began forging the Praxis model as a new combination of the best in apprenticeship, entrepreneurship, and the liberal arts. Throughout this process we’ve discovered new ways in which education itself can work, especially for self-driven learners.
One of the greatest problems we’ve seen in traditional education models is the lack of innovation in the credentialing process that so many students work through in schools and universities. While the ways of achieving mastery in any given field of learning have taken new forms in recent years, the process of receiving certification of that mastery is still fully in the grasp of gatekeepers, from established universities even to otherwise innovative online coursework programs like Coursera and Khan Academy.
We think that this process is a part of learning that’s entirely too important to leave to third parties. We want to remove gatekeepers entirely. In a world where creativity itself is increasingly not only a powerful credential but an important skill, we think its time for credentialing to change from a closed process of interrogation to one of demonstration. Entrepreneurs prove the value of their work by opening up to market feedback. Learners need to be given the opportunity to do likewise: to crowdsource their credentials by showing off, teaching, and creating value for others with the knowledge they have gained.
We have been exploring new ways in which we can give our participants this platform for demonstrating their achievement in the Praxis curriculum, whether through podcasting or writing regularly on impactful ideas to building successful projects or business ventures on the basis of their business insights. Our ideal is for students to fully own a certification process that adds real value to their careers long after their time with us. This is our step toward a way of learning in which the creativity of the student forms the basis of the credentials that matter.
I sat down to talk with Isaac Morehouse about our first steps toward crowdsourcing the credential process.