Generative artificial intelligence (AI) can produce things that typically take students years or even decades to master. This raises questions about what it means to be educated and how AI can benefit education. As educators, we are interested in how this technology can help students learn. It is important to understand AI’s potential to enhance human potential and inform educational processes, while also being aware of the risks. Educators have to focus on human competencies that technology cannot fully replicate and shift education to develop students’ knowledge and ability to navigate diverse ideas and cultures.
Instead of focusing on tasks that AI can perform, such as generating initial lines of code, educators should amplify human potential through technological advancements. Schools should use generative AI and similar tools to enhance capabilities like framing meaningful questions, contextualizing arguments, and evaluating multiple perspectives. Educators can also focus on developing two competencies outlined by Dr. Gordon: human agency and intellective competence and character.
Human agency is the ability to act meaningfully in the surrounding world. Educators can use AI tools to help students address environmental challenges and become good citizens. Intellective competence and character involves using knowledge and values to engage and solve problems, as well as creatively using imagination to address challenges and improve circumstances. Educators can engage students using AI tools to address sustainability challenges and orient learners’ urgency, values, and commitments toward environmental justice.
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