Antiquated education models wouldn’t get us the creativity and innovation needed to address 21st Century issues that Generation Z wants to fix.
It is a school’s job to equip it’s attendees with the knowledge necessary to thrive when placed in the real world. However, when I observe the curriculum being taught in class, I no longer believe that it is capable of preparing students for success. The world is changing all around us, and if we want future generations to be successful, the school system must adjust too.
An Old System that Hasn’t Evolved
In fact, according to an article done by Fast Company, “Our method of teaching hasn’t radically changed over the past century. It’s stuck, it’s dated, and it’s in need of radical transformation”. Can you believe that?! One hundred years has gone by with little to no change in the way schools teach and operate. On top of this, an article by The Atlantic states that our school structure is “a factory-model classroom. Inspired in part by the approach Horace Mann saw in Prussia in 1843, it seemed to adequately prepare American youth for the 20th century industrialized economy.” So, essentially, right now I’m being trained to work in a factory.
Creativity and Innovation Needed to Fix 21st Century Issues
It’s a wonder we’ve made no moves to change our school system when an article written by Harvard Professor David Edwards states that “Over the next twenty years the earth is predicted to add another two billion people. Having nearly exhausted nature’s ability to feed the planet, we now need to discover a new food system. The global climate will continue to change. To save our coastlines, and maintain acceptable living conditions for more than a billion people, we need to discover new science, engineering, design, and architectural methods, and pioneer economic models that sustain their implementation and maintenance.” What this means is instead of continuing to train Generation Z and others to become mindless factory workers, we need people to be creative and innovative in order to literally save the world from imminent destruction.
Generation Z Feels Personally Responsible In Fixing World Troubles
What’s the solution? Generation Z is different from past generations, and according to Sieva Kozinsky in his Forbes article, “students refuse to be passive learners. They aren’t interested in simply showing up for class, sitting through a lecture, and taking notes that they’ll memorize for an exam later on. Instead, they expect to be fully engaged and to be a part of the learning process themselves.”
This means that schools need to revise their curriculum to better prepare students for saving and changing their future world.
The “factory-model classroom” may have worked for the industrialized economy of the late 19th and 20th Centuries. It now needs to radically evolve to meet the way today’s 21st Century students learn and to promote and foster creativity and innovation to solve unique challenges. Education reform needs to happen sooner than later because Generation Z is up to the task of solving these issues.