“The future is in school today.” In an article, The Future Is Now: Ten Realities for Educators and Communities, in Principal, I discovered through the Marshall Memo, Gary Marx (Center for Public Outreach) lists ten downstream realities faced by educators and the public at large:
- Every institution is going through a reset. The question is not, “When will things get back to normal?” but “What will the new normal look like?”
- Lifelong learning is available any time, any place, any way, and at any pace.
- Everything that happens in the world has implications for education. “If it isn’t already, international learning should be among our basics,” says Marx.
- The future is in school today. Kindergarteners who entered school last fall will turn 65 in 2076 and 89 in 2100.
- People entering the workforce today can expect to hold up to eleven jobs and go through several career changes during their working lives.
- If we don’t constantly take the initiative to create the education system we need, someone else will.
- If we manage our diversity well, it will enrich us. If we handle it poorly, it will divide us. Our students must learn to thrive in a highly diverse nation and world.
- Gross inequity will increasingly be seen as unfair, unconscionable, and unsustainable.
- Polarization is standing in the way of progress. Shouting too often replaces civil discourse. We all need “to exercise empathy and ethics, respect others despite differences, resolve conflict peacefully, and listen to others’ ideas,” says Marx.
- Future-focused leadership is essential if we hope to prepare students for life in a fastchanging world.
Schools are of this world not separate from it. As schools we need to be connected to the world, not separate from it. This is how we stay in touch rather than become out of touch. Check out Marx’s 2-minute video where he appropriately states, “The future is in school today.”