The methods of teaching and education need to undergo a revolution in order to conform to the changing mindset of the youth. A few points on the future of education has been described below.
The trends causing radical change in the future of education system
These trends can be broadly classified into societal, technological as well as economic trends which are largely held responsible for the reform in the education system, a topic that comes up during almost all election cycles but never really moves forward. The generation of children born in the 21st century are generally referred as GenX. They form a formidable cohort in the world, being almost 1.5 billion strong. Important reasons why such a change in the future of education is required is because of the reduction in concentration level from 12 seconds to 8 seconds and the inability to deal with complexities and memory-based learning. They have the ability to switch between topics rapidly and a superior sense of cognition. Forcing the older method of education won’t be productive at all, making it absolutely necessary to adapt and change. There is another perspective that is very significant. With better living standards and quality of treatments, life expectancy of people is expected to go up. In fact, people born in the 21st Century might be the first group of people living to be 150 years old. The concept of retirement will also change as mere 50 years of service won’t be enough to compensate for almost 100 years of retirement life.
So, people will have to work for longer years and evolve and learn the newer technologies and concepts that come along the way. Thus, even at the age of 100, one may be needed to acquire degrees. An educational degree will no longer be a specialization but a basic requirement. Moreover, there will a state of constant change as time progresses. Infrastructure has to be renewed from time to time, people will look alternate, greener sources of energy and adapt to the change in climate. Since the demand will grow, the price of education will also go up with fewer jobs as robots will slowly do half the work. These are a few implications of changing trends in the future of education.
Free degrees but with an expiry date
From the medieval European times dating back to 13th century, degrees have been a way of certifying whether someone has attained expertise or mastery in a particular art or trade. It was the benchmark for status as well as recruitment. However, as times progressed, many challenges sprung up which hampered the education system and subsequently the degree. Few of these roadblocks include the increased cost of attaining education which results in many dropping midways and the unavailability of jobs even after getting degrees. Thus, lesser people have access to degrees and education. Free education should not be available only in certain developed countries it should be a right for all. However, there are agendas involved here as well. Institutions use the classical strategy of hiking up the tuition fees in order to legitimate themselves as a premier institute and then offer discounts to students, creating an illusion of generosity. This results in more and more people opting for higher priced institutions even though there isn’t much different in quality.
What the government can do in order to make the future of education free is mandate tuition to a certain amount, forgive student loans and introduce payment schemes that will be conducible for students. Nowadays, degrees are becoming temporary in nature, that is, they are only valid up to a certain period of time. In order to maintain its validity, holders have to keep upgrading themselves by attending seminars, workshops, consortiums etcetera. To top all this, the private sector is also trying to occupy a niche for themselves by providing customized degrees under their name. All these reforms are catching up with the present education system.
The future of teaching
Teachers are no longer the only medium of acquiring knowledge as every piece of information is available through the click of a button. There has been a lot of discussion going around about whether robots will take over the job scenario and leave very less for humans to do, making the point of teaching and educating pointless. Fact is, robots will take over automation works which require repetitive and monotonous inputs. The purpose is to not spend much time doing these meaningless jobs and focussing on the more important matters. There has been a lot of discussion about what type of education should be given more preference. The STEM form of learning which includes Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics has been on the forefront and rightly so.
With machines likely to become dominant in the future, being ready to handle technology efficiently can be of utmost importance. However, more stress on STEM results in a reduction in the creative mindset of students. At this age, when automation is slowly taking over, there has to be a balance between STEM and creativity in order to get most of the work done. In fact, people who possess the expertise of integrating both of them are more likely to survive. The role of a teacher is to not teach and impart knowledge, it is to design a curriculum that will tweak the social and learning skills of a student so that they can deal with the complexities of work better.
The introduction of blended schools- the perfect combination of digital and real
There has been a lot of debate about whether the education system should allow virtual systems and digitalization to take up the teaching market. Honestly speaking, you cannot bypass the effect that technology is going to have on every aspect of life, therefore, it is but logical to accept and allow its inculcation. There are certain drawbacks to this though, some people may argue. More digitalization means more chances of getting hacked and employing more number of caretakers and technicians. The concept of blended schools is quickly catching up. Yes, the teaching is done within the confines of a wall but the use of technology is encouraged, with a certain amount of control over them. Some traditional teachers don’t really see the utility of this type of teaching but there is no denying the fact that it increases the efficiency in teaching.
By using Artificial Intelligence, you could track the learning capacities of different students and devise a course plan that will help them learn faster. Moreover, the assessment will be faster and more accurate. With the advent of AI, degrees by MOOCs will also gain in popularity and credibility. One of the main reasons why people opt for MOOCs is because they are more affordable and can be done in a shorter time frame. The disadvantage of it is that they have a high rate of incompletion because young people lack that certain amount of determination and grit to be on the right path. Moreover, some aspects like social interaction and presentation and the ability to deal with people is not learnt through this. However, with the introduction of Virtual Reality, all of these problems will take a backseat and the future of education reforms will move forward significantly.