Posts Tagged ‘Future’

A Wave of Change – And No Change

September 1, 2009

I am among those who believe a wave of change is about to sweep across and transform the education landscape.  When I read books such as The World Is Open by Curtis J. Bonk and The New Global Student by Maya Frost it is easy to imagine that school a few years from now will look much different than that which we are accustomed.   For instance, five or ten years down the line, I can imagine that the idea of a student going to one place for a fixed amount of time for uniform time period classes will largely be an obsolete model of schooling.  There are many signs here in the St. Vrain Valley School District that are evidence of an emerging, more flexible and personalized model of schooling.

But, as our methods of school evolve and adapt, it also is important to keep in mind some aspects of education that should not change – and I believe won’t change.  Three characteristics of education come to mind that I believe will endure.

  1.  Young people need adult mentors who are not their parents.  Teachers, a synonym for mentor, will also play an essential role in the learning process.


  1. Young people need to spend significant and meaningful time with their peers.  It is an important part of the developmental process to work, play and learn with a cohort of one’s peers.


  1. Young people need safe places to be when their parents and guardians are doing something else (like working).  Schools often fulfill this essential family need.

These enduring needs suggest that schools will never go away.  We need institutions that bring together mentors and students, cohorts of young people and provide a safe place.

But, the school day and locations will look much different much sooner than we may think.