Education in 2021 - A Changing Perspective
- Written by UnivAdmitHelp
- Category: Mentoring
- Published on 15 Feb 2021
A Changing Perspective, but still the same
Covid is a reminder that, despite humanity’s technological progress, we remain vulnerable to disasters that shake the world. The year 2020 has entered our lexicon as “an unprecedented time”—but the truth is precisely the opposite. What would have been unprecedented is if humanity’s vulnerability had ended. The COVID-19 pandemic and its ensuing fallout is simply part of a very long-running trend.
Humanity’s escalating power has finally reached the point where we could cause catastrophes on the largest possible scale: the destruction of our own species, and with it, everything we could have achieved or become. Post-2020 we have a rare opportunity to change course, because it won’t be long before the societal antibodies from this once-in-a-century pandemic begin to fade.
Gen Z and a new challenge
This attitude for changing course gains new relevance in the fields of education. How does this affect the new generations, you ask. The new generation, Gen Z, comprises the age group of 6-20 as of today. They are on track to be the most well educated generation as far as the census goes. Additionally, pre-2020 they were in line to inherit a strong economy, but the “unprecedented time” changed everything for them.
In order to prepare them for the world that they will inherit, it is clear that education will play a huge role. The lines and missions need to be re-drawn. An education is no longer about finding a job and settling in. In the ‘unprecedented times’ when jobs are hard to find and professional spheres are changing at a fast pace, an education serves the purpose of creating jobs.
After the COVID crisis, the focus of humanity may be very different. There is a move towards concepts like LovedClothesLast while more than 350,000 workers in just Bangladesh have lost their jobs. The airlines and travel sectors went through a tremendous slump, but consumption has now moved towards RevengeTravel. Can you imagine what other weaknesses might be exposed in our cultures?
A good education ideally promises a higher caliber of job opportunities, and in some cases, a prestigious network. But in the foreseeable future, it can’t guarantee any of those outcomes. We know that the constant industry disruption - now accelerated by Covid-19 - means that learners and professionals must continually learn about the latest trends, broaden their networks, and keep up with the ever-changing skills required for success. The questions, increasingly, are “How do I get the skills and insights I need for work, now?” and “What are the jobs I can prepare myself for?”
Stanford has established Purpose Learning, whereby students declared a mission, not a major. The intent was that students couple their disciplinary pursuit with the purpose that fueled it. This would help when graduates would be called upon to lead in a world in which economic, political, social and technological disruptions created some of the largest collective risks that humans had yet faced.
“I’m a biology major” was replaced by “I’m learning human biology to eliminate world hunger.” Or “I’m learning Computer Science and Political Science to rebuild how citizens engage with their governments.”
Can you imagine how the education system of the world will change in order to keep up with the times?