Why do schools need to change?

Why should schools do anything differently than what they have been doing for the past 100 years?

Our world is changing. The students we teach in our classrooms today will have lives and careers that we can barely begin to imagine. It can be scary to think about. It can also be exciting if students have right set of skills and knowledge.

If we want to prepare students – ALL of them – to be successful in their futures, we have to help public education adapt to the social, economic, and technological changes around us. Luckily, we can look to many examples of places that are learning to doing this well! Around the country districts and schools are helping students develop a broader set of skills and knowledge to succeed in school and adapt to the evolving world. They are learning academic knowledge. But that’s not all. They are learning the skills to apply that knowledge and the the lifelong learning skills to be able to tackle challenges they encounter at any time in their life.

Schools are doing away with one-size-fits all education that leaves students disengaged because they either already know it or they have gaps in their learning that make it nearly impossible to be successful. Schools are designing ways to make learning personal. This doesn’t mean individualized. It means that learning is meaningful for every student. Schools are also learning to embrace cultural diversity so all students feel valued, can thrive and compete globally.

Doing things differently is entirely possible. It doesn’t have to be daunting. There are steps that schools can take to prepare and build a shared vision and principles that can guide your way.

Questions to Consider

  • What changes have you seen in your community in the last twenty years?
  • What are the implications for your children and what they need to be able to know and do when they reach adulthood?
  • What are the implications for your schools and how they are designed? In what ways are they positioned to help students build those knowledge, skills and mindsets? In which ways do they need to change?
Future of Jobs 2018 OECD


Do you know of other great resources to help districts and schools? Let us know and we will add them here.