This is a question I explore on a regular basis. It's usually accompanied by a series of additional questions: Will students who progress through the 'educational system' of the future be more intelligent? Will they be more adept at problem solving and cognitive skills? More prepared for the workforce? More creative? More philanthropic? More socially engaged? Some, all, or none of the above? (Answer: We have no idea, but we should be proactive about striving for the affirmative!)
One thing is certain: We have reached a tipping point in education. Change is no longer on the horizon. Change is happening right now. Educational standards are being redrawn and accepted by a majority of the States. The Common Core State Standards Initiative is one example of this. Common Core, for those who don't know, is a State-led effort set to establish a single set of clear educational standards for Kindergarten through 12th grade in English language arts and mathematics that States voluntarily adopt. The standards are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to enter credit bearing entry level courses in two- or four-year college programs or to enter the workforce. These new standards are clear and concise to ensure that parents, teachers, and students have a clear understanding of the expectations in reading, writing, speaking and listening, language, and mathematics in school.1
In addition to a revision of standards, new learning solutions, models, and technologies are rapidly shaping the how, where, and when students learn and consume information. Access to high quality content from the world's leading subject matter experts is being provided through means we never dreamed possible. This includes games, mobile apps, and of course, online/distance learning. Some call this change and movement education disruption. Others deem it a revolution. I call it progress.
Why is it important?
Like most changing ecosystems, it is important to look at the various stakeholders impacted by change to understand the value of such progress.
- For learners, there can be several motivations to embracing education with greater speed, quality, agility, and efficiency: Job placement, social advancement, professional competency, and, well... learning.
- For educators, learning outcomes and value that drive change progress.
- For parents, it is about consistently providing the very best alternatives for their children and preparing them for good choices that will impact their soon-to-be independent lives.
- For all of the movers and shakers out there who are creating and executing this education progress, the drive is opportunity -- opportunity to apply, improve, enhance. It's the legacy delta that inspires us all to move the needle.
- For me, someone who is all of the above, it's personal. How we teach and learn, today and in the future, will have a dramatic impact on all of our output, well being, and social happiness. For that, it's important. Pretty damn important.
|NYU SCPS Learners|
Education is not filling a pail but the lighting of a fire ~ William Butler Yeats