District participants at a recent Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents workshop on the future of learning emphasized the potential to pursue regional solutions that can meet the needs of more learners, instead of every district’s struggling to meet every need on its own. They saw the potential both for districts to collaborate in creating regional solutions today and for those solutions to open the way toward even greater innovation tomorrow. As we looked ten years out and envisioned the best possibilities for learning, participants saw such boundary-spanning as a strategy that they could employ today to move toward a personalized future of learning that truly meets the needs of all students. Continue reading
Looking back at where we’ve come since the publication of “A Nation at Risk” thirty years ago from the perspective of looking ahead to the trends shaping learning ten years out provided, as my colleague Jesse Moyer anticipated in his related post, much food for thought and commentary.
Given my focus on looking ahead toward a vibrant learning ecosystem in which all learners have the opportunity and support to prepare to their fullest for college, career, and civic life – which would represent a profound system transformation from an industrial to an ecological paradigm – it struck me that the report’s authors wrote of “the task of rebuilding our system of learning” (14). Continue reading
30 years of education reform have left gifted education pretty much where it was when A Nation at Risk was published in 1983. Then the ultimate goal for excellence in education was “to develop the talents of all to their fullest.” A Nation at Risk also acknowledged that perhaps we were hanging too much on the shoulders of our Nation’s schools and that the drive to provide solutions to “personal, social and political problems that the home and other institutions either will not or cannot resolve” had caused us to lose sight of the basic function of our public school system – education. The report referenced many troubling outcomes directly related to this neglect of focus on high education expectations – many of them which deeply effected students of high academic ability (“over half the population of gifted students do not match their tested ability with comparable achievement in school.”)
As someone who reads a lot of edu-research, I was excited to find out KnowledgeWorks was doing a mini blog series on A Nation at Risk in honor of the 30th anniversary of the release of the report. Honestly, it gave me a really good reason to finally get around to reading it.
I was eager to read the report until I actually read it and had a chance to digest the content. I came away thinking, in 30 years absolutely nothing has changed in the edu-reform world. The seminal report calls for several reforms including a “Learning Society” and changes to content, expectations, time, and teaching. Continue reading
Now, 30 years later and with a strong national focus on improving education outcomes, have we successfully stemmed this “rising tide of mediocrity?” Can we assert that our society and educational institutions have reinvigorated the central purpose of schooling? Have we raised our expectations in keeping with our desire to sustain a vibrant and secure democracy? Continue reading
As our most recent forecast highlights, trends such as a move toward a sharing economy, the emergence of a do-it-yourself culture, the proliferation of real-time feedback about what is happening in communities, and inside-out urban schools point toward the potential for learning to become embedded across civic landscapes in ways that are hard to envision today. As we increasingly approach cities as shared spaces that we not only cohabit but also co-create, we have the potential to re-imagine learning as a shared community asset. Indeed, those communities that create rich learning landscapes could revitalize not just their education systems but also their economies and cultures. Continue reading
Katherine Prince writes about resiliency on the ASCD Whole Child blog. Continue reading
In July I had the pleasure of collaborating with ASCD to design their Leader to Leader conference around KnowledgeWorks’ forecast on the future of learning, Recombinant Education. It highlights the emerging opportunity to combine talent and resources in new ways to ensure that every child has the best possible support in realizing his or her full potential.
Indeed, as the accompanying infographic details, we think that it is possible to create a diverse learning ecosystem characterized by radical personalization, one in which learning adapts to each child. Getting there will require a collaborative and ongoing design process out of which many right solutions will emerge. Continue reading
For the past several years, we’ve been referring to students as “learners” in our strategic foresight publications as one way of making the point that we need to rethink not just how, when, and where learning occurs but also what relationships exist in relation to it. As I’ve worked with education stakeholders around the country to envision their ideal future learning ecosystems, the structures and details have varied, but the designs have consistently put learners at the center.
When the staff of NC New Schools approached this task last month, one of the groups decided that “learners” didn’t go far enough in conveying the change that needs to take place. Instead, they deliberately placed “scholars” at the center of their learning ecosystem map in order to make the point that young people need to become active agents of their own learning. Continue reading
At the Council of Chief State School Officers’ deputies’ meeting in July, I shared the big story of our forecast on the future of learning, Recombinant Education, as a way of situating a conversation that Education Delivery Institute was leading on building state education agencies’ capacity. The forecast served as a frame for encouraging deputies to examine their strategies and operations in the context of aspirational visions for learning in their states.
In addition to underscoring the possibility of enabling radically personalized learning that prepares every child for college or career, the conversation raised the need to manage against potential negative outcomes of future trends. As with any future forecast, it is possible with ours to draw out scenarios that we would not wish to see realized. For example, there is a plausible future in which no child with means remains enrolled in public education. T Continue reading