It is great to be back and having time to think and write again. in Barcelona I gave a presentation to the Cognita Heads about how I see the future of Education. not sure how many of the audience related to what I was saying. One person who did was Anton Musgrove , a commentator about the future and the need for sustainable strategic planning, he had proceeded me on the stage and our thinking aligned almost perfectly. He too is concerned that dramatic change to society is coming much sooner than many are predicting and that the majority of the world population and governments are totally unprepared for the future.
When I talk about AI I often refer to the Oxford University research on AI and its timeline for impacting our employment and way of life. In this research they talk about the game of Go and that it would take a machine learning computer over 10 years to defeat a human because of the intuitive complexity and unpredictability of the infinite number of moves available each turn. As you know Google's Deep Mind computer achieved this goal in just over a year. This could lead us to believe that the predicted timelines are being shortened by the exponential development of machine learning. As if to bring this home I was sent this article from the BBC this week about an artwork created by an artificially intelligent program that was sold at auction for $432,000 (£337,000). Even at its original listed price of 7-10k, this is still a substantial amount of money for a non human piece of art to attract. I would say that the challenge to society, and us educators is here, and hence it is ever more important to be reflecting upon how we are educating the next generation. Although this alone is Food for Thought, I would like to share A.J. Juliani's questioning about are we preparing Chefs or Cooks in our classrooms?
I believe this is a fundamental question for the future. Unfortunately, I sense the majority of the education systems world-wide, including most international schools, are producing cooks. Why? Because the majority of governments and evaluation and accreditation organizations are not looking forward and asking the question what should schools look like in the future. They are using old data and metrics to measure schools that do not fit with what the future holds. They are hanging on to old assessment strategies and educational values that were born in the 1890's. Reflecting upon our recent CIS and IB visits, I pose the question to you all, if you were designing a school for the 2020's based on the predicted needs and skills for the future would it fit within the standards of these accrediting institutions? I suspect the answer for the majority of us would be a resounding NO! But as A.J.Juliani says in his recent post, "Fear is a funny thing. It often keeps us from doing exactly what we want to do." Hence, if this is the case and it is fear that is holding us back then surely the time is fast approaching when forward facing schools join together and break away from the systems that are holding them back from doing what is right for their students.
You will enjoy the challenge that A.J. Juliani's poses in this video. It would be worth at your next Grade level/ Department meeting to spend a few minutes reflecting upon how far your teaching pedagogy and learning environment is creating Chef's of the future and to what extent the school is encouraging this development throughout our school from EE to Grade 12?
Have a good weekend,