Where are the new models of education?

Working in education, it feels more and more like the landscape is changing faster than my ability to keep up with the changes.

Changes to legislation, policy, funding, compliance, content, curriculum, contexts, workforce.

It’s a long list.

Perhaps I’m just getting old.

Or perhaps the pace of change, on some level, really is accelerating.

I’ll get to that.

But what’s driving this change?

Well, lots of things.

You can point to new technology, rising tuition and other costs or internationalisation for starters.

Then there’s the changing demands of learners and employers.

There’s population shifts and changing demographics.

And we haven’t mentioned social issues.

Like the enduring reality of poverty for many.

Or the inability of highly qualified folks to find meaningful employment.

Or the impact of the gig economy.

Or colonisation.

Or [fill in the gap with whatever problem stares you in the face every day]

I don’t think it’s controversial to suggest there are problems.

So change is definitely needed.

But problems demand solutions.

And where are they?

Shiny toys aren’t innovative solutions.

Not really.

I mean, an interactive smart board is still just a glorified blackboard.

This is surface level.

What about change and innovation in the deep structure?

Like entirely new models for education.

But back to the pace of change.

On the one hand, I’m sure it’s speeding up.

Time feels like it’s literally speeding up.

But at the same time, I don’t think we’re seeing real innovation or new educational models.

Instead, I think we’re stagnating.

We’re stuck.

We see a veneer and call it innovation.

What we need is a mission to the moon.

A zero-to-one moonshot that allows us to transcend the tightly regulated, highly controlled, monopoly granting systems that protect and perpetuate their own interests.

No one talking about that.

So let’s get some new metaphors.

Try these on.

Moon landing.

Asteroid mining.

Autonomous car.


3D printer.

Author: Graeme Smith

Education, technology, design. Also making cool stuff...

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