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The role of schools in Education 3.0

Note: This article is a part of the Designing Education 3.0 series at Education Futures.

An an era driven by globalized relationships, innovative social technologies, and fueled by accelerating change, how should we reinvent schools?

Education 3.0 schools produce knowledge-producing students, not automatons that recite facts that may never be applied usefully. Education 3.0 substitutes this “just in case” memorization with skills for designing their futures in a society that is increasingly dependent on imagination, creativity and innovation. One subset of these skills may be expressed in the adoption of New Basics.

Education 3.0 schools share, remix and capitalize on new ideas. This requires a new openness and transformations of schools from places of production line-style learning to laboratories and design centers. 3.0 schools can become “beta” sites to develop and test new technologies, pedagogies and social configurations. These opportunities also imply that schools will express new forms of leadership within the communities that they serve.

Finally, prepare students that will be able to compete for jobs that have not yet been invented, Education 3.0 schools embrace change rather than fighting change. Rather than fighting to maintain the legacies of previous centuries, schools may become the driving forces of creating new paradigms that will drive this and future centuries. Moreover, rather than trying to catch-up with change, 3.0 schools continuously leapfrog ahead of their contemporary institutions to lead in the adoptions of new technologies and practices.

Finally, Education 1.0 schools cannot teach 3.0 students. The move to the 3.0 paradigm requires genuine and massive structural transformations, not a cosmetic makeover. If schools continue to embrace the 1.0 paradigm and are outmoded by students that thrive in a 3.0 society, we can only expect continuous failure.

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Are we ready to take on the challenge?

Leapfrogging to the New Basics

classroom in Anqing

Are the old basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic relevant in the 21st century? Or, is it time for an upgrade?

Arthur Harkins and I assembled a list of New Basics for education that can help us leapfrog to an education paradigm that is both innovative and relevant for the 21st century and beyond. These learning outcomes are not intended to be definitive. They are, however, designed to serve as starting points for conversations on how youth-oriented human capital development systems may become more innovative and encourage learning that is more meaningful.

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