Why Reforming our Education System is So Difficult
The debate on how to make our education system fit-for-purpose in the modern world has been ongoing between political parties, school systems, and educators for decades. While all agree that change is essential for children to be prepared for 21st century challenges, the dialogue usually stops there. It’s time to go back to the drawing board.
All construction projects require a blueprint before construction projects start. It’s unthinkable to build a skyscraper, automobile or even computer without detailed plans, models and prototypes to guide the entire process from start to finish. This blueprint phase is where the global dialogue on Education really needs to start, yet the main obstacle is that so far we haven’t defined a vision for the desired outcomes of the education system that all students should acquire. So exactly why has defining a collective vision to help rebuild an entire education system fit for the 21st century been so challenging?
Because we are in the midst of the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ — a period of intense disruption and technological advancements.
Since we’re in the midst of huge upheavals on so many levels, we can’t be certain about what our children will need for the workforce they are entering into in a few years time. The job market is already changing at dizzying rates due to the disruption of the global pandemic, compounded by technological advances and a potential global economic collapse. These monumental events on the global stage haven’t affected a graduate workforce so much since the early days of the Industrial Revolution, which happens to be when the foundations of our current global education system were laid.
“It’s fashionable to say the education system is broken. It’s not broken at all. But what it is producing are people who are not needed”. - Sugata Mitra (founder, Hole-in-the-Wall project)
In the face of such uncertainty, the best tools that our present education system can possibly provide to all children are the essential life skills of creativity, resiliency, problem-solving, collaboration, effective communication and the list goes on. These character-defining abilities can equip future workers with the ability to…