19th versus 21st Century Expectations

Crisis: The paradox of economic success in the context of the stubborn dropout and graduation rates continues to challenge our educational institutions. The urgency of this issue is compounded by the fact that career-specific education and skill-development have become essential requirements for a career path in the 21st Century, even as many of our K-12 institutions continue to deliver in the 19th Century model.

19th Century Education Model: The unintended consequences of this phenomenal runup of technology-driven economic success are the consequences felt by the foundational enterprises of our country. Namely the schools and colleges shouldered with the responsibility to prepare our students for the 21st Century. Historically, our colleges and schools have increased access and delivered on the promise to have an increasingly high level of school and college participation. This is the “Manufacturing” based education system designed around the “push strategy” with a one-size fits all concept. Schools and colleges educate all students equally, at a standard pace, with standard expectations and outcomes. The “push strategy” essentially focuses on the passive delivery of educational knowledge from the teacher to the students. This model continues to this day even as we have entered the 21st Century, creating “the education’s death-valley” as noted by Sir Ken Robinson*.

21st Century Students: The ubiquity of the internet, cell phones, and cloud technology continues to transform our way of life. This has grown to include all aspects of family and work aspects. This technology is educating itself to adapt to meet our personal and professional needs as “artificial intelligence”, leading to rapid restructuring of jobs and careers. As consumers, the current generation has come to expect customized products and services in all aspects of careers and lifestyles. This “consumer-experienced” generation demand me-centric services as students and career professionals require the critical capability to be continuous and effective learners in a “pull strategy“, at school and/or work environments.

This leads us to the question what are the essential qualities needed for students & institutions to succeed in a “pull strategy”?   Read on post #3: “The Access Way

* How to escape education’s Death Valley: Sir Ken Robinson https://youtu.be/wX78iKhInsc

19th versus 21st Century Expectations

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