The Future Of Education: The Best Learning Environments Give Students The Freedom To Explore The World


Future of learning

We wanted to share this article about the future of education i.e. learning and teaching, with you. It was first published in The Huffington Post on 7 October 2016.

Helsinki-born HundrED is a global, non-profit project, building a vision of education for the next 100 years. The first 75 experiments are being trialed in schools across Finland. Joining these innovations are 100 interviews with global thought leaders, aiming to discover the ways in which education needs to change to prepare children for a rapidly changing world.

In an interview with HundrED, Rose Luckin, a former teacher and learning scientist at University College London’s Institute of Education, discusses the gaps in 21st Century learning and how education should adapt to the changes ahead.

Are we fully preparing students for the needs of the 21st century? No. We address some of what they need to know – students do need to understand particular subjects in depth, but they also need to understand the connections between subjects. For example, the connections between maths, science and geography.

They also need the kinds of skills that will help them to be effective learners in the 21st century – the so-called ‘21st century skills.’ They do need to have good critical thinking and analytical skills, and they need to be able to synthesize material. They need to be able to use their metacognitive skills, and be trained to have these skills and abilities, so they can be effective learners throughout their lives.

The teacher is there to help the learner reach their potential, but the role of the teacher is going to change.

I hope that they are going to become much more actively involved in developing learning resources, and that will include in the development of technologies. I want them to be partners with those who develop technologies and resources, along with learners who are all part of the design of these tools so they are much more suitable to meet the needs of learners and teachers in the classroom. I see a really exciting future for teachers.

A flexible mindset
In the future of education, it is really important for learners, teachers and parents that we adopt what is referred to as a ‘flexible mindset,’ in which we don’t see ourselves as being self-limiting. We don’t have a limited quota of intelligence. We can, with the right support, achieve phenomenally significant things way beyond what we might have imagined.

The most exciting learning environment would be one where learners were free to explore, but had support to make the most of that exploration. Where they weren’t constantly required to complete tests. Where their contribution was valued, and they were aware that their contribution was valued.

Where you would have groups of learners and teachers working together to explore their own learning and how problems could be solved and solutions achieved.

There’s huge potential for the future of education with exciting learning environments that combine the best of human intelligence and artificial intelligence, the best of physical and virtual reality so that we can all find out exciting things about the world.

Interview by Kate Robinson Editor, freelance consultant in creativity and innovation in education