Just as the industrial revolution ushered in a mass model of schooling, the digital revolution is forcing us to rethink schooling for today’s world. The biggest difference now is the rapid pace of change, which means the gap between school, society and technology is growing ever-wider. The call to radically transform schooling is being met with opposition from all quarters – policy-makers, anti-intellectuals and concerned parents who use their own schooling experience as a reference point.
As I’ve written before, transformation is no longer optional for schools. We waste valuable time and resources improving the old model of schooling when we know it will not adequately prepare all learners for tomorrow’s world. There’s no five easy steps to transforming education – schools need to do the work. However, the work we believe is guided by a learning framework that articulates a new language and expresses new mindsets about learning and teaching in today’s world.
For example, it doesn’t make sense to segment learning into K-6 or 7-12. In today’s world, we recognise learning as a continuum that begins in the early years and offers multiple post-school pathways. In this context, a pre-to-post learning framework needs to:
- Emphasise experiential learning through inquiry
- Recognise different and new pedagogical approaches for different cognitive ages
- Prioritise dispositions and capabilities
- Incorporate mandatory as well as personalised curriculums
- Implement key enables (e.g technologies and learning spaces) to support teaching
- Recognise teachers as learners and leadership as everyone’s responsibility
- Include intentional partnerships in the learning
Teachers working collaboratively, informed and directed by a unifying pre-to-post learning framework are in the best position to respond constructively and adaptively to the challenges and opportunities that accompanying the massive technological and social changes of the knowledge age.