(Disclaimer – The concerns I have are not just about the school system where I work or the one where my students attend, they are systemic issues that everyone of us who is impacted by the education of our youth should consider. Oh yeah, we are all impacted by the education of our youth!)
It is about how knowledge is generated and applied, about shifts in ways of doing business, of managing the workplace or linking producers and consumers, and becoming quite a different student from the kind that dominated the 20th century. What we learn, the way we learn it, and how we are taught is changing. This has implications for schools and higher level education, as well as for lifelong learning.
They are capable not only of constantly adapting, but also constantly learning and growing in a fast-changing world. In a flat world, our knowledge becomes a commodity available to everyone else. As columnist and author Thomas Friedman puts it, because technology has enabled us to act on our imaginations in ways that we could never before, the most important competition is no longer between countries or companies but between ourselves and our imagination.
As someone who has worked in public education for 20-years, I know the biggest challenge for me is due to my past experiences in school and a lack of imagination to think beyond these experiences. How can we, the adults in the school, overcome our own hurdles to set the stage for a more meaningful experience for our students?
A concluding thought from Schleicher:
Value is less and less created vertically through command and control-as in the classic “teacher instructs student” relationship-but horizontally, by whom you connect and work with, whether online or in person.