As Michel Serres once said: “Our world is undergoing a cultural and cognitive revolution.” According to Serres, this is also the third time in human history that such a revolution is taking place… Let’s have a look at those 3 revolutions…

First revolution:

The first revolution happened when the first writing systems were invented/developed/introduced. From then on, human beings were freed from having to rely solely on their memory (epic texts had to be learnt by heart before alphabets and writing systems were invented) and could therefore focus on other more important things: the birth of writing systems are indeed concurrent with the development of cities and organised societies.


One of the oldest alphabets: the cuneiform alphabet

Second revolution:

The second revolution was the invention of the printing press. Printed books allowed specialisation in many domains and as Michel Serres argues, “The printed press is mother to our judicial, banking and even capitalist systems.”


The printing press

Third revolution:

Our society is currently undergoing its third revolution: a technological and cognitive revolution which, according to Michel Serre, means, just like Saint Denis, “we have lost our heads”: this is in no way meant to be seen as something negative. Michel Serres argues that “new technologies are condemning us to become intelligent.”

A rather positive message for those killjoys arguing that every new generation is worse than the previous one…


Saint Denis picking up his own head


The 3 videos below are really helpful: they are putting all of the above in the right context(s) and make us realise that education is just the tip of the iceberg of this digital revolution…


1) Michel Serres

New technologies: cultural and cognitive revolution (French)


2) Greg Whiteley

Most likely to succeed


3) Ken Robinson:

Changing education paradigms


4) Ken Robinson

Do schools kill creativity?