Public education: the future starts here
People for Education is instigating a dialogue about the future of public education. Our publicly funded schools, where 95% of Canadian children are educated, are truly where the future begins. They must prepare the next generations to play a real role in the world – no matter who they are or what their background.
If we picture a thriving public school in the year 2030, what would it look like? What do we need to change to move the public education system into that future? In a recent article, Educating students for their future, not our past, Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills at the OECD, looks at how we can ensure we are educating students for their future.
Education must be more than content knowledge
Today, the world no longer rewards us just for what we know – Google knows everything – but for what we can do with what we know. The more knowledge that technology allows us to search and access, the more important becomes deep understanding and the capacity to make sense out of content. – Andreas Schleicher
The next generation needs to be able to understand and apply knowledge, to examine content critically, and to work with others and understand their perspectives.
Valuing education = valuing teachers
According to Schleicher, “leaders in high-performing education systems have convinced their citizens to value the future.” This belief is reflected in the value placed on teachers and their professional autonomy, by encouraging innovation, collaboration, and ongoing professional development. Education policy “needs to shift toward inspiring and enabling innovation, identifying and sharing best practice.”
Moving from the past to the future
As globalization and digitization become the new norm, the very basis of the way we educate students must change, including:
- Moving away from dividing students by pathways and content by subject, and toward integrating students, subjects, and learning contexts.
- Moving from subject-based learning to project-based learning, and an increased emphasis on collaboration and co-learning.
- Moving from standardization and compliance to personalized learning and assessment.
In order to prepare students for an uncertain future, we need to shift our thinking, not just about what students are learning, but how.