LeadingThought’s Liz Alexander interviewed 20 futurists about what they thought the world of education would look like. Alexander’s exercise was simple and the responses are as diverse as the women she interviewed.
Alexander asked respondents to complete the following sentence:
If there was one thing I could change in education to better prepare students for the future of work, it would be…
- for Lynn Curry, Stanford PhD from Ottawa, Canada: a new structure of education, which will change thanks to “real education personalization“.
- for Geci Karuri-Sebina, PhD from Johannesburg, South Africa: a “consciously evolving, conscious” approach that adapts and validates the dreams of “learning beings“.
- for Janice Presser, PhD from Philly, Pennsylvania: a focus on contributions that amount to “something larger than themselves” and guides their environment choices.
- for Katherine Prince, MBA from Columbus, Ohio: putting “inquiry and application” at the center, as the skills that “demonstrate unique human value alongside machines“.
- for Emily Empel, Canadian MSc from Ontario: more time to explore their personal connections and relationships, to “emphasize self-care“, and promote power sharing.
- for Alexandra Whittington, MSc from Houston, Texas: set human development as locus, “[e]liminate the tendency to reduce students to data points and dollar signs“.
- for Maree Conway, PhD from Melbourne, Australia: “putting the future at the core of education“, which means training them not for what the needs are but will be.
- for Monika Conway from Auckland, New Zealand: moving to “[a]n ability to rethink, reassess, remix, redefine and recreate” in hopes for a sustainable world.
- for Joyce Gioia, MBA from Austin, Texas: to further involve employers in school to prepare graduates “for the jobs that employers have for them“.
- for Parminder K. Jassal, Austinite PhD: to ready for a transition to an economy “where learning and earning are synonymous“.
- for Elizabeth Merritt, MA from Washington, DC: to do away with rote learning and make education a “supportive environment” for change empowerment.
- for Nisreen Lahham, PhD from Cairo, Egypt: to include “multidisciplinary management skills” with practices that quicker respond to the changing world.
- for Anne Boysen, another Austonian MSc: to prepare critical and contextually analytical mindsets so students are able to perform “jobs that don’t exist today“.
- for Dawn Quaker, BA from New York: “to focus on invention and innovation in the classroom“, and improve self-guidance skills.
- for Furoozan Sharaf from the United Arab Emirates: adding “emotional intelligence and resilience skills“. Basic conflict resolution is “the ultimate solution” yet it’s missing.
- for Radha Mistry, MA from San Francisco, California: “to be comfortable with open-ended questions” as the way to understand each other and thrive.
- for Jonelle Simunich, also a San Franciscan MSc: “to teach the value of art and fluency with interpersonal communications“, including curiosity and collaboration.
- for Cornelia Daheim, MA from Cologne, Germany: inclusiveness and self-management as tools to deal with and disrupt marginalization and hierarchies.
- for Rebecca Searles, New Yorker too: “to emphasize the importance of ‘synthesizers’“, or ways to quickly understand a problem and apply knowledge for a big-picture solution.
- and finally, for Elaine Cameron, from London, City in the United Kingdom:
“to teach them how to be happy and have a purpose beyond work, in case they are automated out of the job market.”