Nurturing a New Age Education Ecosystem
3rd September 2021 By Joietouch

The industry is poised for profound change. It’s high time to nurture an education ecosystem that can take us into the next hundred years.

It’s that time of the year again! Time to analyze the year gone by and set the goals for the years to come!

As I sit back and ponder over the learning and teaching that I have witnessed in the past year, it dawns on me that education is one of the industries where significant revolution is yet to occur. I bet that anyone who is closely working with the several stakeholders of this industry (teachers/ students/ administrators/ content providers/ trainers/ policymakers) can vouchsafe this!

There is no gainsaying that over the last 25 years, the world has changed faster than ever before with the advent of globalization and the internet. Such a radical transformation has required people to learn new skills and master new languages that have a prominent role in today’s lives. However, it’s highly unfortunate that our education system especially K12 has not kept pace. Stuck in the industrial age, schools continue to teach content that is no longer relevant in practical life using pedagogical methods that no longer benefit young people’s evolved minds.

In celebration of the New Year, let’s work on these three levels to shape a New Age Education Ecosystem:

Open System: To thrive in a future scenario, students need 21st-century skills –critical thinking, problem-solving, decision making, creativity, and innovation, as well as combinations of skills such as collaborative problem solving and learning through social networking.  It is vital that the skills we are encouraging in our students are also espoused by the entire school system. If the teachers are confined by exhaustive irrelevant curriculum and assessment processes, they cannot incorporate skills like collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking into their instructional practice. A system that works with an attitude that is open to learning and change can only lead the way.

Also, educators must be provided with adequate support and professional development not only to master the teaching strategies but also to unlearn the beliefs and assumptions that no longer holds relevance.

Extensive Teachers’ Training: The 21st-century skills can be developed only when teachers break loose from instruction method of teaching and instead adopt the role of facilitator, allocating task, assigning team roles and providing opportunities to self -directed learning. For such a dynamic role to be performed, institutions need to implement a highly rigorous teacher training framework. Apparently, the role of the teacher in the classroom needs to adapt from the traditional one of “knower/instructor”, to the facilitator, guide, and co-learner.

Contextual Learning Models: The relevance of learning specific knowledge and skills is much clearer to students—and much more motivating—if they understand how a given topic fits into “the big picture,” or a meaningful context. Moreover, how will they use the specific knowledge/ skill in a practical scenario is what makes learning relevant. A systematically mapped curriculum with clearer relevance in practical situations is highly impactful to instill learning for life.

Let’s treat ourselves to a positive New Year’s resolution this year – take steps to nurture an education ecosystem that can take us into the next hundred years!

Please weigh in and share what you know or believe to be true from your experience or– maybe ask some more questions. I am a co-learner in this and VERY interested in what you have found to be true.