At Sora Schools, our belief is that the future of education is a system and model that empowers students with agency and treats learning as something truly meaningful, useful, and fun, not just a process of arbitrary content memorization and assessment. The future of learning should reflect the future of work and our society — a focus on creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking. Ultimately, a good, holistic education should prepare students to be lifelong learners.
But does anyone share that belief?
In a recent article on The Edvocate, writer Matthew Lynch asked over 100 education experts, ranging from teachers to education policy experts to school advisors to educational technologists, on their thoughts on the future of education, specifically in K-12. Here are the takes that we found the most compelling.
“As education moves ahead, I am hoping to see a more personalized educational program for each student, allowing them to use the content they are required to learn in the context of pursuing their passions. If students can solve problems and create projects and products that use their passion as the basis for the assessments, I feel students will gain the love of learning we want them all to have!”
– Kathy Schrock, Educational Technologist
“The future of education belongs to the learner. I foresee a systemic pivot towards practices that promote educator agency and amplify student-voice. School accountability will no longer compete with student learning. Our tolerance for allowing hyper-testing to crowd out the preexisting talent each and every learner possesses will diminish. We will start seeing greatness in all its forms, and teaching the whole child will take on a new meaning.”
– Dr. Brad Gustafson, Elementary Principal and author of “Renegade Leadership”
“I envision the future of education as one hyper-connected classroom that prioritizes open-sharing and collaborative learning. Teachers become facilitators of knowledge and co-creators of content together with the students and the broader academic and professional communities. This classroom has no walls that separate classes or subjects from one another — students work together holistically on projects, exercising self-agency, self-directed and self-paced learning; and collaborating with teachers and industry professionals to solve problems across a wide range of disciplines and skills. This open classroom leverages the power of technology to amplify one teacher or class’ voice to a national and global level.”
– Ai Zhang, Ph.D, Associate Professor at Stockton University, New Jersey, US; and independent digital pedagogy consultant
“Education is a crossroads. Those who are responsible for moving formal education forward will determine its future. These educators have some directions from which to choose. One path is to continue with traditional lecturing, where the teacher stands before the class and spouts knowledge. The next path is embracing technology and using it deliver knowledge to the students. Though technology has continued to grow and evolve, its use in education has not kept pace.
The future of education is rooted in how knowledge will be delivered to the learner. For education to have a viable future, technology has to be integrated from the creation to the dissemination of knowledge.”
– Christopher J. Hall, Interim President, Denmark Technical College
“As students prepare for a rapidly changing world, Adobe’s global Gen Z study reveals an increasing need for students to have opportunities to make and create. In support of this trend, we found that nine of ten Gen Z teachers see creativity as central to future careers and 93 percent of Gen Z students view technology as key to their career preparedness. We can expect to see creativity playing a central role in the classroom as educators tackle updating curriculum to align with the 21st century skills students need for future success in tomorrow’s workforce.”
– Tacy Towbridge, Global Lead, Education Programs at Adobe
Right now, our education system still reflects the needs of a world that’s rapidly fading away. We still teach people the same way we’ve done for decades. Classrooms haven’t changed much as a whole. Learning is geared towards teaching to standardized tests, not towards interest, practicality, or genuine intellectual development.
But we have the opportunity to change that now. Instead of focusing on obsolete metrics and pedagogy, we need to allow students to have voice in their own education, empower educators to support students in their learning, and elevate what we teach in schools to the skills and mindset that the next generation of problem-solvers and creators will need.
That mission is what our own organization, Sora Schools, is focused on. It’s what leaders in education everywhere need to focus on.