Education Outlook for the USA
According to the pre-socratic Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, “The only thing that is constant is change.” This man who considered himself a “self taught pioneer of wisdom,” shared more than five words that became a famous quote; he captured in five words the driving force and critical understanding needed to move societies forward in an ever-evolving world. In the K-12 American education system, change – and the ability to adapt to it – is not just a passing thought brought to mind from reading a famous quote – it’s the driving idea propelling educators and an entire education system into the future.
Letting Go of The Past
A nation focused on forward thought and innovation has no time for the struggles involved with making out-dated and insignificant content and contexts in the classroom work for K-12 students. Preparing future generations for the integration of critical life and communication skills so they can assimilate into a global society serves as the mission. Educators prepare students to be creators and innovators – this is the future of the K-12 American education system.
Adapting to Change
Change is inevitable, but resistance to change in not. 21st century pedagogy require forward, creative thinkers who are unafraid of the risk involved with stepping out of the traditional role of educator and into the authentic space of creators themselves. This is no small task – it is one that will enable educators to boldly step out of their comfort zones to meet the needs of the technical and global generation filling seats across the nation.
Stepping into the Future
21st century pedagogy and the implicit demands for adaptation to a technology-driven society require major shifts in the perspectives and abilities of educational leaders. In order to meet the needs of American, globally-aware students – the future leaders and innovators – educational leaders must embrace a new approach to leading teachers in meeting this goal. Outcomes for instruction and student learning demand new “critical systems necessary to ensure 21st century readiness for every student.”
21st century skills are needed to meet this challenge in the K-12 education system.
Embracing A New Design
Learning, literacy and life skills in the 21st century classroom prepare students for the global society they will enter confidently and courageously. Educators prepare them by giving them the literal and abstract tools and strategies to collaborate, communicate, think critically and solve problems creatively. These abilities are critical components for future career success. Without the changes in attitude and approaches from federal to state to local board meetings right down to teacher lounges – America risks keeping a generation comfortable in the routines and rituals of the past, putting their future success in a state of uncertainty.
The Future American Classroom
Students and teachers will not be assigned to blocks of time in classrooms. Learning extends beyond the barriers of four classroom walls and into the community, the society and into other parts of the world through real-life experiences and collaboration. Planned circumstances and situations move them beyond textbook instruction. Flexibility in methods for gathering information and encouraging communication to solve authentic problems demand visionary leaders able to charge groups forward in the implementation of progressive learning designs. It requires trust in the groups they lead and awareness of the impact the virtual world has on the future generation.
The Creator Generation
Students who will thrive in the future global and technical society are critical and creative thinkers able to solve problems collaboratively and strategically with freedom to make mistakes, self assess and revise strategically. Critical and creative thinking provoke the search for content knowledge for solving problems while supporting the development of young minds into becoming independent thinkers.
Empowering Teacher Leaders
Supportive environments and role models guide the education evolution, modeling and assisting as needed. This demands educators operate within a supportive organization with a mission that communicates belief and trust in them to that carry out a defined and noble mission. Empowering educators empowers an entire generation of students as they evolve into self-directed, knowledgeable, critical problem solvers understanding that discovery and innovation move societies forward.
The Future of K-12 American Education
There are no walls in the future American classrooms, only bridges to global awareness, virtual communication and opportunities to be creators and innovators. Authentic tasks take over rote assignments and authentic audiences create lived-experiences for students filling American K-12 classrooms across the United States. Schools become pathways to awareness, replacing the boundaries for learning. This is what the future holds for K-12 education in the USA. Once there exists a deep understanding “That the only thing that is constant is change,” it will be possible for the nation to step into the future of American k-12 education and meet it boldly and courageously as young minds are prepared for accomplishing extraordinary things.