For some time now, the world has been learning that the ‘industrial’ models for schools that may have worked well enough in the 19th Century are hardly adequate for the demands of today’s world. The world is VUCA, a term which means ‘volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.’ Change is instantaneous and exponential and asks schools to be agile and adaptive in addressing the changes. New technology requires shifts in problem solving, and the new problems that emerge in our world are no longer being solved by the old solutions we have gathered in our repertoire of behaviours. The question that education asks itself now is, Are we growing future-ready children?
The answer to the question is in our collaborative imagination. Reimagining Education means that we must engage in the paradigm shift within our next orbit. What is the paradigm shift for education?
Common Ground Collaborative (Bartlett, 2017) gives us some of the changes that education is going through, from cultures of control to cultures of collaboration.
When we see school not as a factory, where children are processed in batches through levels, and we understand schools as ecosystems where each person is an integral part, we will understand the complexity of how a school focuses on learning for the future and creating future-ready individuals.
In the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world of exponential change, the successful person will be the person who learns in agile and adaptive ways.
Faced with new problems never encountered before, the successful future-ready person is one who draws upon and evaluates approaches to learning to define the problem, ask the right questions, find strategies and approaches to solutions, designs solutions strategically, test hypotheses, analyse and interpret results, and communicate new learning in varied and effective ways.
In other words, a self-directed person is the person who succeeds in the VUCA world.
Our next orbit at Neev Academy is about developing our readiness to become self-directed inquirers and critical thinkers. We will learn our way to the future, and this is how we reimagine and transcend the old paradigms and embrace the capacity to learn in the face of change.