Is the school fit for the future? Looking at what is being written in the specialized press or not, it seems that the answer is mostly negative. According to many observers, the educational institution is backward-looking and continues to promote past skills that will have virtually no use in the future. This is not entirely unfounded, as even teachers admit that the model comes straight from the 18th century. However, there is a need to know how to modernize educational programs.
First way: technology
Of course, with the giant strides being made every decade in technology, it does indeed seem inescapable to talk about digital and the tools that will become a part of children's everyday lives. We might think that the modernization of schools, the implementation of AVAN (Bring Your Own Digital Device) programs and the like have fostered this approach. However, the curricula would not cover all the future possibilities and skills that this will require. For example, in Oman, research realized that only 28% of the technologies that will be used in the future are being studied by students.
While the percentage is higher in other Western countries, it must be said that many observers do not see future knowledge being taught in school. Indeed, where are the courses that talk about the ethics of artificial intelligence or the environmentally responsible design of objects? We are in a world that amasses a phenomenal amount of information but few teachers address data science in mathematics, among other things. Still, faculty need to be trained and prepared to convey this more technical knowledge. Not to mention that simply using technology does not necessarily lead to the development of useful skills for the future.
Second path: global skills
Thus, in a world that is likely to become increasingly automated, future citizens are going to have to show skills that machines do not have. From then on, for many institutions and teachers, the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) approach is probably the most connected to the human future because it incorporates courses in programming, investing, civics, creativity, etc.
The issue of interpersonal skills plays a huge role in future skills. Soft skills will be as important as technical knowledge. For some, schools must produce leaders who will master the tools to create alternative solutions, improve the community, etc. Future citizens will know how to work and learn in teams, develop ethical techniques and technologies, and be able to incorporate people from diverse backgrounds and nationalities.
Changing the relationship to the curriculum
While some are pushing for a more futuristic curriculum, a question may arise: is the backward-looking aspect not so much in the content as in its very narrow focus?
At times, syllabi seem increasingly to straitjackets that restrict what students must learn. What if the future of education is through programs being composed of broad guidelines. Thereafter, it is up to learners and teachers to find ways to achieve those goals. Whether it be through project-based pedagogy, student-decided learning, immersive technologies, etc.
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