We all have seen the images: a phone of 100 years ago and a phone of today. A car of 100 years ago and a car of today. A classroom of 100 years ago and a classroom of today.
Two of these sets of images have dramatically changed. One has not.
The world is changing quickly, but our schools are not.
We are at a pivotal time in history. Societies are defined by the economies that support them. In the 19th Century we went through a dramatic transformation as we moved for being primarily an agricultural economy to an industrial one. That process of transformation was profoundly difficult and included the Civil War.
We are now in the midst of an equally deep transformation, as we transition from an industrial economy to a digital economy. The social disruptions will be difficult as likely more than half of all jobs of today will be replaced by jobs that have not yet even been imagined.
Many of our schools, however, are stuck in an old model and ill prepared for this challenge. Our students are still primarily taught a fixed curriculum at a predefined pace – allowing for a uniformity that rewards only those who are able to sit still and do as they are told – compliant learners. But it will be our passionate, inspired learners, that will lead us into this future. To develop these new life-long learners, we will need to re-imagine the educational experience.