Thankfully, Old School is crumbling.

It’s no secret that schools are not preparing young people for today’s world, but traditional institutions are going as far as to instil negative mental pressures in students, fears that they’re not going to be ready for their own future.

Digitalisation will be a catalyst in the failure of traditional schools, which is a good thing as this makes room for more relevant educational models. New models are starting up globally everyday because students, teachers, parents and lately employers are demanding it.

Disruption will disassemble classic traditional schools, those which were designed to enable social control and prepare workers using rigid dictatorial techniques; think bells, single file, punishment, uniforms, all established to prevent individualism, freedom of thought/speech and creativity. This is something we can no longer afford to happen as thinking for ourselves becomes the most valuable commodity.

Such traditional schools will begin to receive diminishing returns as students no longer acquire the required skills, and so, will be forced to morph into more impactful learning centres offering flexibility and relevance to students and society as a whole.

It is education within education. Just as people now prefer ecologically sourced foods over mass-produced foods, so will school become bespoke to each learner’s requirements.

What is the problem with old-school?

There are many issues with the current education system but one majorly overlooked factor is the impact of education and what schooling does to students, and the results are not great. Up to as many as 70% of students dislike school and approx. 40% suffer from anxiety within the schooling system. The system is not only failing education-wise, it is failing the mental health of its students.

Today we can clearly see that the problem is school, not the students.

What needs to change in education?

We will need to start taking risks and pushing the boundaries of the current schooling system towards the new form of education we need.

We will have to stop hiding behind outdated curriculums and the comfort zone of ‘that’s just how school is’.

We will need to rebuild the educational system to become relevant as it’s currently killing our individual asset of creativity.

We require our schools to meet the expectations of students, parents and society as a whole if we wish our youth to positively impact the future.

Everyone has purpose in their own right; education is not simply attending school, reading a book or passing an exam, it’s also about listening to people with life experience and learning how they lived and overcame challenges. For this reason we must encourage intergenerational transmission of life skills and provide more opportunities for these learning experiences to flourish.

What does the ‘new-school’ look like?

More intergenerational integration between learners, mentors and teachers of different ages.

No more segregation by age; maturity and enthusiasm is ageless.

An early start into community; young learners need feel like they are contributing to their society early on in life.

A shift of onus from only working for oneself, to incorporating meaningful integration within communities.

A focus on human development rather than grades or the ability to regurgitate information.

Finding ways to see how our learners can overcome and meet society’s challenges.

A focus on what we can’t get from automation, but rather the real life skills that computers can’t compete with us on.

Development of creativity, teamwork, problem solving and how to be skill-focused, to find our place within society.

Helping students become happier by letting them find out who they are, on what to spend their energy and continuously build foundations based on value and ethics so they have the skills to flourish in our new world.

Schools will become smaller, smarter, and have a ‘start-up’ feel. They will trust their students to be responsible and allow them to grow and perform at their own pace whilst following their chosen paths.

Schools will go from primary and then onto secondary and incorporate tertiary training almost in one step and with curriculums focused on the skills that each learner is looking to master.

Students have time to find their interests and follow their passions; let the magic occur and happiness becomes the natural result.

Testing of learners will be different as IQ and SAT’s just won’t provide what is needed in this fast developing world.

We will no longer have one measuring system that shapes our unique learners’ futures.

Assessments that show us how much a student understands; that illustrate their abilities, critical thinking and problem solving.

Mastering particular interests, not striving to simply pass old school measurements.

Hybrid schools allowing for different ages, digital solutions and many incorporating different stakeholders to help get the best of our students.

Mentors with the passion to teach and positively influence and guide our students in their chosen direction.

Bottom Line:

We are not the grades we obtain at school as that is such a small measurement of what we are. We need to encourage schools to allow us to develop our talents earlier and in more detail so they can be further enhanced.

The moment is upon us to stop making all these mistakes in education.

These are promising and exciting times, now we must be BRAVE enough to make it happen because it’s probably the most important change needed in the world.

Tim Vieira.

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