Education contributes to changes in societies because it transforms the mindsets and capabilities of individuals. Educated and capable people then shape the world to suit their ambitions. All Unesco data point to a continuous increase in the educational effort worldwide, in duration and volume. Certainly we will educate more than ever: more than 70 million new primary and secondary teachers will be needed by 2030 and certainly another 15 million at the university level.
Beyond the prerequisites of writing, arithmetic, and the common basics, the volume of knowledge production already exceeds anything a person can assimilate in a lifetime, without even considering what we already know; as a result, specialization of training is branching out earlier, and lifelong learning will soon become a normal, expected, and integrated practice.
What will change, however, is the way we teach. Staying in a classroom until you are 20 years old does not seem as attractive as training continuously in many different settings. Blended learning, like blended work, in and out of school, opens up possibilities that few institutions have begun to exploit in pedagogy. Labor shortages and environmental urgency only add more pressure for a change in practice.
Technological advances in genetics, artificial intelligence, computing, nanotechnology, robotics are exploding the possibilities in every field: energy, space, communications, environment, finance, agriculture, construction, food, urban planning, transportation, politics, arts, health, business, industry, etc, etc... What field is not affected by profound transformations?
The idea that education can continue to operate on its traditional basis is not even conceivable; the possibilities are exploding for it too. Augmented reality, A.I.-assisted instruction, machine translation, the wealth of training offered by the Internet, and many other possibilities are within our grasp. Learning how to use them will be essential for both students and teachers. In a world where almost everything has a human touch, the responsibility of education will increase. Let's be ready for it.
Denys Lamontagne - [email protected]
Illustration: HaticeEROL - Pixabay