All around the globe, children are stuck in education systems that barely differ from those of their parents and even their grandparents. This is mind-boggling considering the pace of technological change – students are ultimately being prepared for a world that doesn’t exist anymore.
It must be said, however, that Covid-19 has ironically presented us with a unique opportunity to overhaul the current education system and its outdated practices.
The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted education systems everywhere. We have now seen that simple synchronous online schooling does not work. Children, parents and teachers are burning out, and a wellbeing pandemic is closing in. In many regions, the only solution to going back to school is to simply separate desks by two meters and divide the schoolyard with painted lines.
How can we expect the next generation to adapt to a rapidly changing world if the very systems in place to help them grow and learn are not able to adapt and respond to these changes?
To simply ‘return to normality’ post-Covid-19, to a context where learners do not build self-awareness, have no agency, and where there is an over-reliance on exam pressures and standardised testing, would be one of the biggest blunders of the 21st century.
Standardisation is creating the biggest dead-end for our future generations. In the next decade, most everything that can be standardised will be automated by machines. What will be the purpose for a standardised humanity?
Now is the time to embrace learning innovation and unleash a new lifelong learning paradigm for everyone. What we need is a new learning paradigm that is learner-centred and focuses on purpose-inspired and personal learning. Self-determined learning will substitute standardised instructional education. In order to understand the future and navigate a changing environment, it is important for individuals to understand themselves.
- Intrapersonal space – Such awareness provides a healthy basis for growing the ability to relate effectively with others
- Interpersonal space – We all need to navigate this changing society.
- Societal context – As we look at how humanity protects the earth’s ecosystems
- Global perspectives – Added to this, we live in a digital world
- Digital space – Which profoundly shapes people’s lives.
This is an opportunity to revamp our learning environments and design in a way that learning can truly flourish. Any school could use this unique moment in time and set-up modular learning studios in their outdoor spaces to relieve class sizes and include creative and digital empowered pop-up learning hubs to experience the future of learning.
More than ever, we have to develop our most human qualities – creativity, adaptability, original thinking, and collaboration will all be key concepts in learning communities, as well as in the workplace.