There is a significant difference between "schooling" and "education" and in today's world this is more important than ever. In the past, the role of the teacher was, right or wrong, "schooling." Ensuring she dumped enough information into her student's heads so they could go to college, get a good job and perform the tasks required of them. Today's teacher is faced with a different challenge.
Students starting school this year will be graduating in 2021 and retiring in 2069. Frankly, no one has a clue what that world will look like nor what the jobs will be and yet teachers today are supposed to be educating students for success in that future no one can honestly predict.
I believe we need to rethink what it means to educate young people. This is not necessarily a new thought. Policy makers and experts forever have droned on and on about the importance of education and preparing our young people for the future.
However, I find many are not as involved in the day-to-day role of teaching as they should be.
Graduates and students of all ages today must be prepared for this rapidly changing world. This means that a new but familiar set of skills must be emphasized as much as the traditional Three R's. These newly emphasized skills include creativity, problem solving, life skills and the ability to change quickly and learn new skills rapidly with personal certainty.
Those of us in the education industry must challenge "the way things have always been done." We need to go beyond "the basics" and work to help our future and current graduates go beyond just college entrance exams. As educators, not "schoolers", we need to develop in our students from elementary through high school the creativity and critical thinking skills that will guarantee their success in the new economy.
By doing this we go beyond encouraging the success of the students of a single school. We are working to create the future prosperity of our world.
Jim Zwers is the Executive Director of Clearwater Academy International, a private non-profit school utilizing Study Technology, an effective method of study developed by L.Ron Hubbard, American writer and educator. Clearwater Academy International is licensed to use Applied Scholastics™ educational services and materials.