Part One in this week's series of posts on Education.
I often wonder what would happen if we could start with a blank slate and reinvent the learning environment.
I got started by performing a quick internet search for "2015 education trends" and I summarized the top three articles--see below.
1. This article by District Administration that describes the 2015 forecast for U.S. education trends made by 23 industry thought leaders. I summarized the results in the list below with the number of mentions for each topic. There are a number of good ideas here, but I don't get the sense that the educators have a comprehensive vision for the future. They seem to be taking a kit of parts approach, which is piecemeal at best, and can only lead to incremental improvements.
- Blended and Online Learning x7
- College and Career Readiness x3
- Testing and Assessment x3
- Common Core x2
- Design Thinking and STEAM x2
- Management and Self Regulation x1
- Safety and Security x1
- International Models for Teaching and Learning x1
- Making Cloud-Based Devices Integrate with Classroom Projectors x1
- Makerspaces x1
- Personalized Learning x1
2. I found another article at the Huffington Post Education blog that was written by Brad C. Phillips with the Institute for Evidence Based Change (IEBC). Here's a list of the trends according to the IEBC:
- The rise of "data whisperers."
- Accountability 2.0.
- "Big data" right-sized.
- Data privacy and the opportunity/cost equation.
- The collaboration imperative.
- College completion as a collective responsibility.
- Embracing our demographic future.
- Beyond labels. Data in context.
- Supporting the troops with college credit.
- Failing and learning as a badge of honor.
3. For variety, I added in one more article. However, this one was written about New Zealand by the CORE Education team. They looked at trends around five key areas of change: Technology, Cultural, Economic, Structural, and Process. Additionally, I saw the following quote on the margin of the site which I found to be informative: "Pushing the Boundaries of Educational Possibility." Compared with the two previous articles, I was most impressed with CORE Education's work. Here are their Top Ten Trends for 2015:
- Learning Analytics
- Digital Convergence
- Learner Organization
- Networked Organizations
- Inclusive Design
- New Approaches to Assessment
- Global Connectedness
- Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- Maker Culture
- Learner Agency
A number of questions come to mind after reading the articles above:
What does your ideal graduate look like?
The answer to that question would drive how a school system would craft its curriculum. What do we want the people we are educating to be able to do? Generalists, specialists, or something in between?
What is the best way to achieve these goals?
Structural problems and unwillingness to experiment often inhibit development and growth of new ideas in school districts.
What is holding up the evolution of schools to meet the global demand for people that can work together to solve common problems?
For contrast, here's a list of what I learned in school. This education prepared me to be a generalist that can walk into any situation and figure out a way to provide value.
- Elementary/Middle - I learned how to work with others.
- High School - I learned to be true to yourself.
- Undergraduate, B.A., History - I learned how to think.
- Graduate, M. Architecture - I learned how to see.
What would happen if school systems started thinking about education in this manner? Does it change your perspective on what we should be doing in schools?