Our education system wasn’t much of a problem until now. The system addressed the 19th century industrial revolution needs for labour that could perform simple and repetitive tasks. But that era is long over. Our children must gear up for the ‘gig economy’. By the time today’s graduates are 38, they would have gone through 10 to maybe 14 jobs. Moreover, 15 years from now, 65% of graduates will be going into jobs that don’t yet exist.
Given these trends, lessons taught in classrooms no longer seem relevant for our increasingly tumultuous world. Teachers are wrestling with how to break away from archaic pedagogies and curricula. Students are jumping off the education conveyor belt unequipped for an unforeseen future. Governments are eager to develop knowledge societies but are grappling to find concrete strategies to get there.
A "gig economy" is not guaranteed, that's just the current catchphrase for what the new trend is right now. But it's true our current education system is a hindrance to the genuine development of our children.
Another example is Big Picture Learning in the United States. Here there are no tests, no grades and no traditional classes to sit through and students are succeeding through real-world project-based learning.
Similarly, Ideas Box is changing the way we educate and train displaced people and refugees. The education initiative is turning knowledge into practice through mobile multimedia libraries.
Each of the above projects has its own magic touch yet they have plenty in common. The success of each project proves that it is possible to move from competition to collaboration, from listening to doing and from attending to being.
Project based learning is the key, based in a foundation of critical thinking and effective communication. Frankly, I believe this type of education would not only lead to successful careers in adulthood, but also mental wellness to carry with them to the next generation.