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Education Goes Into Detox

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

by Tim Lougheed, Learning 2030 In-Camera Blogger

Image © WGSI/Michael Bennett

Participants in the Equinox Summit are reaching a critical milestone, as their deliberations shift from talk of goals and vision to specific instructions for action.  

They have broken-up into groups to consider what must be done now to shape an education system for teachers, students, and society in 2030.
Each group is taking-on a key facet of the problem:

  • one looks at new expectations of teachers
  • another considers how students will grow into learners
  • another reviews the kind of content those teachers will impart and learners will learn
  • and yet another group weighs the options for how this new educational format could be implemented in a world weighed down by schools that still operate on a 19th-century mode

Perhaps, not surprisingly, one proposal was for a “detox” period that teachers and students would have to endure, as members of each group shed their traditional roles.

“Training on both sides will not be along the lines of the traditional teacher-student divide,” concludes on participant in the discussion. “It will be ‘I am a learner’, first and foremost.”

Image © WGSI/Michael Bennett

RIFing on different paths to education

The character of the next generation of teachers is captured as RIF – researcher, innovator, facilitator – which is accompanied by the following expectations that they be:

- caring
- actively researching in their field
- serving as effective facilitator, and
- not motivated by money

At the same time, summit participants are looking beyond the specific role of teachers to others who might be responsible for overseeing how tomorrow’s schools are run.



“All the work the kids do should be showcased to the community,” says one participant, observing that the circle of responsibility could extend to members of the community, but not, perhaps to the parents of students.
“I love my parents but I wouldn’t want them anywhere near my school,” adds a member of the youth-populated Forum.

What do we do to make this all happen?

Image © WGSI/Michael Bennett

These ideas are beginning to take a more concrete form, so that people lobbying for changes to our educational system will have a sense of what they are expected to do. 
“It’s hard to think about curriculum without thinking about the teacher, without thinking about the learner, without thinking about the ‘how’,” observes another summit participant.
At the same time as some are taking a hard look at what people will actually have to do to implement the plan that’s coming together – as it stands – other delegates are eager to draft an educational blueprint that will evolve with the technological, economic, and social changes that are bound to occur between now and 2030.
“Will this be a living document?” one participant wants to know. “[To work in the future], it has to have some traction, to be able to be pushed ahead.”