Education:2025 | Tell them you’re dreaming

Posted on February 4, 2014

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So, what will the education system look like in 2025?

I participated in a Community Consultation meeting at Adelaide High School where they posed this question. The consultation was called “Adelaide Dreaming” and this title inspired us to consider our future and what we dream it to be like. It was apt and timely.

My relationship with the school is one of parent first (to a current and also past student) and second, as Governing Council Committee Member. There are privileges being on Council and so I would like to state that this blog holds personal views only and has not been discussed with other Council Members.

The focus of the meeting was for this school, however the presentations and conversations on the night were much broader; analysing overall visions for our community as a whole as we head towards the year 2025, and how current trends may impact this future.

Of course, we are talking about a high school education system in Adelaide, South Australia, for children who would not have even entered Reception, Primary School yet. In fact, these children would currently be 4 years old attending kindy part-time. They’d probably be surrounded by a lot of electronic equipment, TV, technology, games and videos to keep them amused while living in a home that may, or more likely may not, currently be close to other family members. They would have started to attend community offerings such as theatre or art groups, sports and music groups if they are lucky.

So, I’m nervous joining the futurist debate. But, if you listen to futurists like Don Trapscott, he says stuff like:

“These kids [of the current generation] have no fear of technology … sort of like I have no fear of a refrigerator.” Don Tapscott

The full TED Talk is worth a listen: http://www.ted.com/talks/don_tapscott_four_principles_for_the_open_world_1.html

And Don aspires to a world that is open. Open to everything. Open ideas, open source, open door, open bars… an open world. An open world with no fear for technology and what it an offer. So, if there are no barriers and it’s a way of life, where does that lead us to for the year 2025?

I thought I’d remain open and consider the possibilities for this new generation, and so here are a few of my personal musings about Eduction:2025 from our night of dreaming…

All schools wish for student well-being and Adelaide High’s approach to ensure the student’s voice is heard, in my opinion, has always been done well. Students who attend a day school for formal learning will continue to wish for excellence and leadership from their school community ie teachers as well as Alumni (past students).

So, in this statement, I am eluding to the fact that I don’t think all students will attend a formal school like we know today. In fact I believe schooling will be a combination of many approaches.

I’ll continue... (raw thoughts and I may edit later and mark my edits)

By 2025, I see a trend back to more intimate classrooms and/or home schooling options as a direct backlash to the consolidated super-schools and large groups that we formed of recent years.

The community may push for a more mentoring approach with traditional teaching being passed down the ages or through more options online to teach “what is already known”, with options for formal schooling of face to face, being for motivation and encouragement to learn “what is not already known”.

That said, the education for ‘what is not known” is the interesting development, as trends indicate self moderation, monitoring and tracking for healthy performance as a way of life would highlight the ability to work out for yourself what you need to learn – and to go, find it and learn yourself; social learning philosophies at it’s best, where they ask someone or watch a YouTube in current day language to learn.

So mentoring and social learning… where do teachers really fit in? There is a place but I believe it to be in a specialised space that is interest based.

I have labeled all this “blended-learning”.

I believe people will push themselves harder with their own learning (there is a curve emerging out of the laziness) and in fact, they kinda do now with the use of online learning, YouTube and simple social learning philosophies ie using Facebook. In doing this, it becomes obvious (to me) that communities will form with common interests… and these communities won’t only be local communities, they may be international.

Pew Research recently published that in America there is a strong increase in the uptake of International student attendance and we have a strong International uptake here in Adelaide. But with travel being expensive and the internet being s available, why travel? Why not utilise expertise anywhere to learn. Yes, this already happens, however I do think it will happen more and more in the specialised space as we learn from each other what we don’t yet know.

And, in saying all this, tell them we’re dreaming as we don’t yet know what we don’t know about what the future holds. It’s a little like we had no idea 10 years ago a platform like Facebook would revolutionise how we connect and have conversations with each other. But we are a step in an evolving direction that my grandchildren will benefit from.

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