Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Future of Education: My notes from a recent conference presentation

On Monday, I attended the VAIS (Virginia Association of Independent Schools) Annual Conference.  One of the sessions I attended was a lecture titled, The Future of Education given by John Martin, President/CEO of Southeastern Institute of Research.

Mr. Martin presented some intriguing research findings that led his organization to make a host of suggestions and predictions about the future of education.

Here are the highlights per my notes.

"Tailwinds" for the future of education

  • Growing population in the United States (predicted growth of about 24% by 2030)
  • Inability of public schools to push past the status quo due to bureaucratic processes
  • College graduates becoming one in a million - potential for certification programs to become as valuable if not more in some markets
  • Growing number of parents who want to "parent right" and provide their child with every advantage possible
"Headwinds" facing the future of education
  • New consumerism - making more of what you have, a desire to focus more on needs than wants
  • More questions about the value of education, especially private school education
  • Growing number of low cost alternatives to traditional schools
  • Growing number of highly customized, free content and learning tools
  • Increasing levels of diversity
21st Century Skills (from his research)
  • Critical thinking
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Social impacts
  • Collaboration
  • Global awareness
  • Ability to acquire new skills quickly (New Gen Flux)
Imperatives for the future of education
  • Deliver a superior outcome
  • Create a unique selling proposition - do not be defensive, but rather focus on quality of outcome over price (quality/price = value)
  • Use the future as your point of reference
  • View 21st century education as being a part of a network
  • make your school a "gateway" into that network
  • Package your 21st century program
  • Track and report outcomes
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