it seems that futurists in education and other fields often try to come up with an entirely new way of how things will be in, say, 10 or 50 years from now. it doesn’t seem necessary to try to predict what the future of education will be because it will come for our natural propensity to be connected, to be social, to collaborate, even though sometimes we might not enjoy the company of some in the group. regardless, the future of education, without sounding very cliche-like, is here already in that we know what works: collaboration.
As the RSA video, Changing Education Paradigms, claims, “Great learning happens in groups … Collaboration is the stuff of growth”. Here they are referring to not breaking them up into groups whereby they are separated and judged differently, creating some disjunction. We see this in how we track students based on age, standardized tests, intellectual prowess, and language and math ability, or whatever allows for convenience. as the video points out, how archaic is it to group students by age level? can a 8-year-old learn something from a 6-year-old? better yet, can a grade 9 child work collaboratively to solve a problem with a grade 7 student? are the main reasons for tracking have to do with convenience and the management of students? is it to also prepare them for the division of labor of the workforce? if not, isn’t setting up diverse groups (i.e., different ages, intellectual abilities, styles, ideas, etc) more truly reflective of our adult society?
to return to the title of this blog, it does not really matter what or how the future of education will look like because whatever it will be, it will involve collaboration, people socializing, connecting via face-to-face or via online. we see evidence of this more and more in how we are desperately trying to stay connected with others and to share common interests around activities and ideas.