What do We Expect for Future Education?

Teachers have always been an integral part in society in training up generations to be functional citizens in the society. Often times, industry and academia are closely related. Both are mutually supportive with the industry pointing academia to the right direction in syllabus, keeping them updated with the latest technology, and academia providing the human resources needed for the industry by equipping them with the right knowledge and skill sets needed by workers in the industry. Today, lets explore how the education system is expected to adapt moving forward.

I believe the majority of us have in our schooling years gone through the teaching method known as the conventional teaching approach. This method is vastly used worldwide where the education was delivered through recitation and memorization techniques. This teaching method are often done in a face to face classroom setting where it requires instructors and students to have basic materials such as chalk, marker and board, pen and paper to demonstrate the examples in class. The approach is more instructor-oriented rather than student-oriented where instructors are the main key focal people in conducting the classes.

Although commonly employed as the goto teaching method, it does have a disadvantage. Based on The Stephen Perse Foundation Company, the conventional teaching used repetition and memorization of information to educate students, it means that students are not developing their critical thinking, problem solving and decision-making skills. The question is what will the future hold for graduates under this teaching system? Several studies have shown that the conventional education system are not producing graduates capable of critical thinking.

In the fast-growing era, the top skill sets that stakes holders are looking for are also changing according to the needs. Here’s a comparison of what stake holders are looking for in year 2015 when compared with year 2020

One distinct difference seen here is the sudden rise of needs for critical thinking and creativity skill sets. This is believe to be due to how the industry is evolving in our current world. As we all know, the industry is revolutionizing towards industry 4.0 with new emerging technologies such as 5G wireless communication, big data analysis, IoT and cloud computation to name a few. The modern world has become digitized and connected. With the breakthrough in technology comes a necessity for many stake holders to focus on innovations in order to stay competent in the field.

This in turn causes many education providers to start to step up their role and re-look the way they teach. The conventional teacher-oriented method is not efficient in developing the right skill sets among graduates. By memorizing and recitations, students do not develop and train up their critical thinking, creativity and problem solving skills. In order to produce talented and competent graduates, the focus has to shift into a more student centered learning where students become the active learners in the program. This method is called active learning.

Active learning empowers students to discover and learn from their own initiatives. They are responsible for their own learning. Instructors take the role of giving constant feedback/affirmation of worth based on the continuous assessments of the students. Learning programs are seen as guides that allow educators to be innovative and creative using the current technologies such as online teaching, flip classroom and open bookend in designing programs/activities with integrated knowledge and learning relevancy by linking them to real life situations.

In addition, the students will have flexible time frames to work at their own pace as long as the outcomes of the study have been met throughout their undergraduate time.

There are several supportive modules that have been full-forcibly implemented and practiced by education providers. such as active learning, cooperative learning, and problem-based learning. This is to ensure students process a lifelong learning mindset even after graduating.

All in all, as the industry is gearing up towards the industry 4.0 revolution, academia should also adapt accordingly to meet the needs of the industry. We should expect that whether in high schools or university, we will start to see the shift in the methods of teaching.