The Future of Education Part 2: Future Trends
Updated: Nov 11, 2019
In the first part of this article I looked at the problems our education systems were facing and the damage I felt it was doing to our children. In this second article I look at some of the trends that are emerging in schools which give me hope for the future and what you can do to accelerate the pace of change.
Not unsurprisingly, as I work in Accenture Interactive, I believe that the future needs to start with the experience. Concepts like Experiential Learning and Personalisation are not phrases that you may have come across if you’re not a teacher but these are at the forefront of modern teaching philosophies. Here are my three trends:
Personalised learning – the conventional methods of teaching a topic to the middle of the class standard means that teachers struggle to meet the needs of the higher and lower achievers. With personalised learning the teacher takes the role of a facilitator and the curriculum and the styles are adapted around a students needs. Tools such as the Khan Academy’s Mastery Learning series can be used to provide content outside the classroom to either brush up on a concept that they’ve been struggling with or to allow the student to go deeper if they’re interested. Early reports show that just 30mins extra a week on tailored content can increase outcomes in test scores by 33%
Breaking out of the classroom – students are taught in a variety of ways from 1-2-1 meetings, self-directed and self-paced learning, some lectures, working in small groups, team based work and teaching by peers. This is more reflective of how they’ll have to operate in the real world or at University. The result is that the jump from school to university isn’t so jarring and drop out rates should decrease.
Project based learning, an experiential model pioneered by the Buck Institute in San Francisco and championed by The Edge Foundation in this report. The focus is on covering a broad range of topics in combination and the example they give is taking a topic such as The Romans. Here teachers will work together and may visit an archaeological dig where they will study the geography of the land, look at the software and maths used to date the artefacts, maybe recreate the pots they find in art class, study Julius Caesar in English and put on the play in drama.. you get the idea. The students are much more engaged, their comprehension is better and it has an added bonus of motivating the teachers as they work in teams, stretch beyond their core subjects and we see a drop in attrition.
The key here is combining real world companies with exposure to technical jobs in cross discipline teaching and this is where programmes like Kidovation come in. At Kidovation we partner with clients such as Sky, Kingfisher and Alder Hey Children’s hospital to teach design thinking and critical thinking skills to the students. We do this using Lego, aliens and a lot of post it notes. We give the kids real world problems to solve, because they have ideas and imaginations and have the potential to change the world. We pair them up with facilitators from the company who are Project Managers, Product Owners, Art Directors etc to inspire them to think about roles in our industry. So far we have trained over 750 kids in design thinking, like Millie who’s still using the ideation skills we taught her 3 years ago and won’t start her homework without a stack of post it notes.
So, what can you do?
Firstly, stop using conventional methods of education (test scores, degrees etc) to assess intelligence and creativity. Start looking in unconventional places and recruiting using unconventional means, because it’s only you, the hirers that are going to be able to make these changes. I don’t need to tell you to hire diverse teams anymore, do I.. do I???
Secondly, partner with a school and design a programme to show kids what the future can hold. Get into schools, primary schools, and start inspiring kids to come and work for you in the plethora of creative jobs that you provide. Studies have shown that kids as young as primary school show a greater propensity to learn once they’ve been exposed to the office environment because they see the connection to their studies and at this age they’ve already started down selecting jobs they don’t think are right for them. Get them into your office, inspire them and support your struggling schools with inspirational off timetable days such as Kidovation.
If you’d like to change the Future of Education you need to get involved. Please drop me a line and perhaps together we can collaborate to make a difference.