Hawai’i’s Shared Futures By Vision Foresight Strategy

Shaping the Future of State Education

The University of Michigan developed the National Clearinghouse on Academic Worklife, a repository and portal for articles, policy papers, and link regarding the changes and evolution in professional life in higher education.

Thoughts: While the above scan hit really relates to the lives of professionals in universities and colleges, the issues they are facing with ongoing changes in higher education and collegiate life of course have a much broader impact. The central issue of ‘what future higher education’ has been thrown about for years, and yet for all the articles in the popular press and all of the reports, conferences, and journal pieces concerned with the ‘future of education’, there has been surprisingly little innovative thinking proposed. But as is often the case, inspiration for radically innovative changes often do not originate within the host industry.

The world is changing, as it always has, only now it is changing at a much more rapid clip. To not only compete economically in a globalized world (perhaps of primary concern to the US political establishment), but also cultivate the strong, healthy, and adaptive citizens a society needs today, we need more serious and determined examinations of the role and nature of formal state education (i.e., that base educational experience to socialize and prepare a common citizenry). The futures are opening up interesting possibilities for creating organized and disaggregated systems for education across the lifespan, but inspiration for these possibilities will not necessarily (and certainly not only) come from the education profession, and serious investigators should be looking abroad at other fields. But such most also look to the different roles, responsibilities, and capabilities that institutions other than ‘schools’ should and may have: communities, families, professions, and global communities.  By example, in recent years thousands across the country have seized upon ‘charter schools’ as The Answer to whatever educational or cultural deficiency they detected in the current system.  The Charter school movement is unlikely to be the silver bullet (and indeed there rarely is one, but single point solutions make good press), and should instead by viewed as one of several efforts available and employed by society to create a more adaptive and competent citizenry.  As with all complex social issues, the drivers are many and the responses must be many.


Filed under: Education

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