Life in the 21st century is more interconnected than ever before. It is also marked by more access to more information than ever before. As huge challenges like climate change and social inequality loom on the horizon, it is said that our time is characterised by VUCA – vulnerability, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. The acronym might have seeped into public consciousness, as the unpredictability of the future is increasingly perceived as a threat.
Are children and teenagers in this day and age well prepared for this future?
Sir Ken Robinson famously claims that ‘schools kill creativity’ and the current, reductionist approach to learning turns students into adults that are less rather than more comfortable with uncertainty. Peter Senge has spent much of his later career thinking about the tri-part relationship of self to self, self and others, and self and the planet. He found that the ability to handle these three relationships in their complexity is systematically underdeveloped in young people. There might be a need for learning to become more integrated so that knowledge becomes rational and intuitive, general and personal, conceptual and embodied.
What, then, is the vision for education? Join Ken and Peter in discussing and exploring a vision for education in the 21st century, where five key guiding ideas are outlined for the emerging education system:
• A new era of personalisation - moving away from standardisation
• Strength in peer to peer networks - technical and emotional needs enriched through exchange in groups not as groups
• Promote collaboration not competition - the system rewards collaboration, celebrating the social aspects of learning
• Be the change you want to see - rooted in your local circumstances shape structures that enable the desired behaviour
• Too urgent to rush - the only way we will cope with the future is recognising that we are part of shaping it, one step at a time