What I See as the Future of Education and Life Coaching for Teenagers

December 27, 2012 by John Andrew Williams

Life coaching is a relatively new field. It started from a combination of mentoring, professional development, leadership training, and sports coaching. Businesses hungry for finding a competitive advantage started using coaches for their leaders, and executive coaching has boomed. It’s currently a huge market, and one of the most popular niches for Life Coaches.

In contrast to the world of business, education changes at a much slower pace. While the Internet has transformed whole industries, education has taken its time to catch up. Yes, there are thousands of websites that allow a student to get a diploma via an online school. You can make flashcards and keep track of your assignments on your smart phone. Teachers are starting to create classroom webpages and blogs to disseminate information.

However, the main model of education still has a teacher in a classroom delivering information and content at its core.

The flipped classroom, where students watch educational videos at home to understand the content and do their ‘homework’ during class in school, is a model that will continue to spread. In my mind, it represents one of the most exciting advancements in education.

Yet the intense focus on delivering academic content and subjects is still central to the flipped-classroom model.

The current system of education is still the industrial-military model, training students to be intelligent enough to be a factory worker and obedient enough to follow orders in battle. It was created to serve the booming industrial revolution and to stock the armies of nationalism at the turn of the 20th century.

Business and Henry Ford’s assembly-line led the way and became a model for the class schedule and the complex orchestration of moving thousands of students through schools each weekday.

I see business once again supplying another model for education in the form of how businesses create value for their customers and how they train their employees to be the best at what they do. That model is more of a project based model, working with teams, and having individual support in the form of mentorship and coaching.

Twenty years from now, students will still have core academic subjects. They will probably be delivered via flipped-classrooms. Educators will be as much of an Academic Life Coach – trained to help students develop their own character strengths and express their creativity – as a teacher, who instructs and holds students to a high level of achievement.

The challenge facing education is how to make the transition between the two eras – the Industrial to the Information-Creative… which are worlds apart.

I don’t think the process will be smooth or seamless. It’s going to be messy.

I want to make a few predictions: ten years from now, 5% of the students in the United States will have some sort of exposure to Academic Life Coaching and an official Life Coaching session.

Twenty years from now, I think that number will eclipse 50%.

Look a Life Coaching for teenagers as new technology that allows them to gain more clarity about who they are and what they want to do. It’s a technology that, once certified and trained coaches are trained to deliver it to schools, starts to take off.

I see this company, Academic Life Coaching, paving the way.

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