“Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.”
Over the last decade, Zane and many others have identified problems with the way we are currently educating our students. Basically the system of education we use is currently a system of mass-producing education. It is a system of education designed over 250 years ago and it is failing to adequately prepare our students for careers, employment and adult lives in the 21st Century.
These concerns are supported by data from research surveying employers, increasing numbers of which are complaining that despite academic qualifications, growing numbers of the newly qualified applicants they interview for positions, are inadequately prepared for employment. Often these problems and inadequacies relate to lack of even the most basis life skills.
Many of those that we speak to that understand the growing problem, believe that the answer lies in innovating education to enable students to be educated as individuals where the natural skills and abilities that every child has, can be identified and developed. Our factory-style approach to education today ignores this important starting point. It certainly also marginalizes any students considered to have special education needs, many of who are often particularly intelligent with many natural skills and talents that their peers in the classroom do not enjoy.
For any new system of education to be successful, each student needs to understand the relevance of education and what they are learning to their lives. And if we are to encourage each student to embrace that all-important quality of self-motivation, then we need to provide them with the tools to enable each to take ownership and control of an education-to-employment pathway they plan themselves, to guide them through their educational years.
Zane is committed to innovating education and we believe that this is the starting point to identifying a credible and feasible solution that will overcome many of the issues faced by students today as they attempt to prepare themselves for a future career.
However, having the vision for a solution that innovates education, then designing, developing and implementing that improved system, is realistically quite a different issue. But it is a cause that excites Zane, and one about which we are particularly passionate.
When anyone sets out to develop or “invent” any new product or service, the process of research, experimentation and development of an innovative prototype is the accepted norm. However, education is a particularly conservative field, and one that is generally averse to potential risk and implications of failure. But no amount of research can ever totally eliminate every aspect of risk, and so we listen to the words of T.S. Elliot who stated that “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far it is possible to go.”
Many might argue that educating the next generation should never involve risk, however others that realize the failings of our current system of education and dream of better, would argue that if we dare to dream of better, we need to embrace our vision and be prepared to move forward towards making that dream a reality.
Many of those that oppose change are those with a vested interest in our current education system, often because they perceive their jobs and careers as being endangered. However in reality, those that have been trained and charged with educating our children, have a much valued level of knowledge, expertize and experience and should surely surely play an important role in any change or improvement.
Others point to the many EdTech start-ups that have appeared over the last 10 years as being part of the progression towards a new system of education, however most are not. As many as 90% of those new companies are simply using technology to patch-up the old way of doing things. They are simply providing technology to aid and assist the mass-production of education.
While technology may play an important role in change or innovating education, it will never constitute the change itself.