Transforming Education

Tom Peters wrote a post that led to an article in the New York Times on making college more relevant.  The article details 10 new degrees that are being offered at University level, none of which existed three or even two years ago.

Some of these new degrees were:

  1. Learning to Listen – Narrative medicine
  2. Safety First – Homeland Security
  3. Education Leadership – Learning to Fix Failing Schools
  4. Sustainable Cultures – A Step Beyond Anthropology
  5. Cars of the Future – Start Your Engine Programs

The post and article got me thinking about the reasons why I have returned to the classrooms of the world and the things I spend time thinking about:

  • How do we make our schools more relevant NOW?
  • What can we do NOW to transform students’ experience of learning relevance?
  • What should the NOW classroom look and feel like?

I guess it is very hard to determine what the future requirements for students entering the workforce might be.  Seeing that university courses are being developed all the time and the jobs that they might do don’t even exist yet.  How do we as educator try and predict the potential skill sets that they need?

I think the answer is that we don’t predict, but instead we lay the foundations with great development for NOW.

Those foundations must include a focus on Emotional Literacy and Social Literacy.  Because the need for EQ and SQ skills alongside the IQ is a fundamental that has not changed for many many years.  These skills will always ensure that a student can adapt to the things that are presented to them.  The challenges that our students will face are unknown, but I am certain that a robust balance across Intellect, Emotions and Social skills will always be necessary for success, happiness and satisfaction.

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