The future of education
For many years now schools around the world have been undergoing a foundational change in what, how and why they teach what they teach. The old model is of teachers teaching (telling) students a finite amount of knowledge and students repeating that knowledge at some future point. It could be summed up by, write fast, listen hard and remember well. It was a paradigm rooted in the industrial 19th century and for many public systems it worked well for many years. However, more recently, there has had to be a paradigm shift due to the tectonic plates of society shifting.. The drivers of this change include the development of technology in all its forms, for example, the development of Google, AI and machine learning. There is the impact of globalization meaning people are more geographically mobile, Covid notwithstanding. There are many difficult problems to solve in terms of climate change, war, resource depletion etc. Education systems around the world need to respond. As the famous phrase goes, 'If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.'
In order to create competent and productive global citizens, organizations like the OECD and the World Economic Forum have identified skills that will be the most prized in 2030 and beyond. The top five are 1) Analytical thinking and innovation, 2) Active learning and learning strategies, 3) Complex problem solving, 4) Critical thinking and analysis and 5) Creativity, originality and initiative. In future articles I will outline what this means for schools moving forward. In the meantime, I will leave you with a telling quote from the American philosopher and educational reformer, John Dewey who said, 'If we teach today's students as we taught yesterday's, we rob them of tomorrow.'