Our time is and will be rocked by (according to NIC, US, Global Trends 2030) great changes, we are at a critical juncture in human history, which could lead to widely contrasting futures. The article's Executive Summary states, “This report is intended to stimulate thinking about the rapid and vast geopolitical changes characterising the world today and possible global trajectories during the next 15-20 years.” It summarises forthcoming patterns as Mega-trends of events: Society will be individually empowered which will accelerate owing to poverty reduction, growth of global middle class, greater educational attainment, widespread use of new communications and manufacturing technologies, and health-care advances. I think, future education and pedagogical process will be highly impacted by these Mega-trends. Sixty percent of the population will live in urbanised areas and migration will increase which directly or indirectly will influence our society.
Demand for the resources will grow substantially owing to an increase in the global population. Resource redistribution/demand will have major impact on pedagogical method, which will require renewed ideas and thoughts. Question was raised, “Will technological breakthroughs be developed in time to boost economic productivity and solve the problem caused by a growing world population, rapid urbanisation, and climate change?” We will need re-thinking/renewed effort to learn and handle the transformed world and existing educational system (to cater for industrialisation) will be obsolete.
I stumbled on to another paper by Tony Wagner (ref), titled The Global Achievement Gap which opens up another question, “ Why Even Our Best Schools Don’t Teach the New Survival Skills Our Children Need- and What We Can Do About it.” For much of the 20th century the basic skills of reading, computation, and rudimentary writing were the focus of the attention in schools and at home." However, in the 21st century, mastery of the basic skills of reading, writing, and math is no longer enough. Increasingly, almost any job that pays more than minimum wage today - both blue and white collar-requires people who can solve a range of intellectual and technical problems. Availability of information has become easier-they are readily available; new technologies that are constantly changing, and more complex societal challenge such as global warming is the core challenge of our time. Meta-cognition i.e. how to think is the utmost call of our days. To reason, analyse, weigh evidence, problem solve is the characterstic of a good 21st century education. These are the essential survival skills of all citizens, not only for some elites.
Throughout history and until very recently, most people worked with their hands - not with their heads, thus analytical skills becomes essential for our daily life. The literature adds a nice statement, “ Many generations of the most successful students learned how to think more often from the kinds of conversations they had with parents at the dinner table or family trips they took than in school.” Now that conversation , in a 21st century school must happen in school- isn’t that what is called ‘collaborative’ learning?.
Teaching all students to think and to be curious is much more than a technical problem- that is what should happen in a classroom.
The Education Review Office (August, 2012) points to that direction, “ In the most successful schools, the trustees, leaders and teachers have an uncompromising focus on fostering students’ interests and strengths, and on addressing their learning needs”. Shift is towards the focus to student-centred learning.
ERO’s paper states, Mahika, Berryman and Bishop assert that learning environments in which students’ are honoured as partners in learning are “fundamental to the relationships that are developed between teachers and students. Cultural positioning of a student (bi-culturism) is important during learning.
School leadership is vital, because it is leaders who generally drive curriculum review and development. Leaders cultivate teaching communities that are focused on improving student success.
Students are/will remain at the heart of school business. Overall, the Teaching as Inquiry and Responding to Learners should be the core purpose of teaching and learning. Meta-cognition, environment, relationship and technological identity of our generation will be the core element of our inquest and endeavour in the educational world.
Wagner, T. (2014). The Global Achievement Gap: Why Even Our Best Schools Don't Teach the New Survival Skills Our Children Need and What We Can Do About It.
Kapur, M., & Kinzer, C. (2005, April). The effect of problem type on collaborative problem solving in a synchronous computer-mediated environment. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Montreal, Canada.
Kapur, M., Voiklis, J., & Kinzer, C. (2005). Problem solving as a complex, evolutionary activity. Proceedings of the CSCL conference 2005, Taipei, Taiwan
ERO (2012) Including Students With High Needs. Wellington: Education Review Office.