American society has long held that education is an essential and vital vehicle for elevating and enriching individuals and our society as a whole. Our educational system has long been regarded as the gateway to economic opportunity and essential social interaction that strengthens our societal values and our bonds as a country.
Yet now, increasingly, we are told that education at all levels is at a crossroads, that our educational system, especially our public school systems – once the model for the rest of the world – have eroded so much that our students now rank well below the top-performing students of many other countries. We are told that our once prized educational system is in crisis, and in desperate need of ‘reform’.
With this backdrop in mind, we invite students to think creatively – imaginatively – about ways we can re-imagine an education system that restores America’s educational excellence and builds a new legacy for future generations of American students.
‘Re-imagining Education’ can apply to admissions policies, financing education, curricula (e.g., Common Core, SAT, or ‘Western Civilization’), or ‘Alternative’ schools and the impact of technology on education, or a host of other sub-topics about which students have a particular interest.
Here are just a few broad questions to be considered:
- What are the aspects of our current educational system that work well?
- What aspects are not working and would benefit from a new, ‘re-imagined’ approach?
- What new ideas, systems, structures would create breakthroughs for current and future students?
- What is getting in the way of these breakthroughs?
- What are other models we can learn from?
- What might we gain from a novel approach to any aspect of our current education system?
- What is/should be the mission of our educational system going forward? (e.g., Is it to prepare young people for the work place vs. preparing them how to think creatively?)
- How does/should our educational system address differences in learning styles?
- How/should we ‘incentivize’ educators to produce desired outcomes?
Links to other organizations focused on reimagining education:
On December 10, 2015 President Obama signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in an effort to re-write the No Child Left Behind Act passed under the George W. Bush administration. For a review of this new piece of federal legislation by the CEO of the Nellie Mae Foundation, click here.
How Innovation and the ‘Reimagined’ Classroom Will Change Learning, University of Pennsylvania
How a shift to personalized learning is the key to the future of education in America
Gever Tulley urges us to stop thinking of education as something that we *do* to people, and start thinking of people as voracious self-directed
Plus: Ten other related TEDTalks on education https://www.ted.com/playlists/24/re_imagining_school
College Calculus: What’s the real value of a college education? The New Yorker
American education is ripe for a technology to prepare students for the 21st Century. Wall Street Journal
Reimagining Higher Education: How colleges, universities, businesses and governments can prepare for a new age of lifelong learning Deloitte University Press