Future of Education: Best Case Scenario

September 30, 2013 by John Andrew Williams

Future of Education: What Will Education Look Like in the Next 100 Years (Best Case Scenario)

This is the second part of a question about the best case scenario in education for the next 100 years.

There are some bright spots in the changes and trends happening in education. And there is reason to think that those trends are going to create change in education.

Here are a few of those trends:

1) Flipped-Classroom. Although he’s not the originator of the flipped-classroom, Sal Khan and the Khan Academy offers students 10 to 15 minute YouTube tutorials on all the subjects one would expect to cover in school. In other words, students can learn the content through watching videos outside of class and spend classroom time doing what was previously called ‘homework.’ Will the trend continue? For sure. There are some technology hurdles to overcome (such as not every student having access to watch videos at home) and accountability (how can you be sure that students are watching the videos), but I think the real hesitation is the mindset that knowledge in a classroom comes from the teacher. Technology replacing a human being in terms of delivering academic content goes against hundreds of years of education habit and tradition.

2) Online learning. Similar to a flipped classroom, learning online presents the opportunity for students to do their homework on a computer at their pace and then to have a virtual class with a live teacher. Students still take tests, but they can do their homework on their schedule and at home. That’s a big deal for students and most students who I work with in this situation love it. I think that online learning both in high school and in college is going to be a trend that definitely continues.

3) Character Education. Another trend for the future of education, and one that I am most excited about, is the research surrounding a better understanding individual talents and strengths. There are a few programs, even schools, that are trying to look at anti-bullying and building empathy in their classrooms, and it seems that character education is going to seep into schools to solve these kinds of problems.

Will these trends continue? I think the online school has the best chance of making it. Flipped-classrooms would be a dream as well as character education. The best case scenario I can see is that education looks like leadership retreats centered on deepening self-knowledge, doing ropes courses in the forest, blending proactive projects with the support of Academic Life Coaches

And that’s what I see as the best case scenario that could happen in schools – that educators see themselves more as Life Coaches who work with teenagers rather than teachers who are working with grades of students. If we as a society can solve the problem of delivering academic content by better using technology, we create the opportunity for teachers to interact with teenagers as coaches.

Asking teachers to consider themselves more as coaches is a big deal and represents a significant shift in culture. I think the next 100 years, and when the current generation is used to growing up with computers in their pockets, I think the technology is going to tip the scales in putting a premium on the kinds of skills that Life Coaching offers

Future of Education, What will education look like in the next 100 years best case scenario

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