On education in Europe and the USA

Clever Magazine
Universities Schools Student life Kirill Delikatnyi

What We Owe the Future: a New Educational Model

Preamble: The Call for Education Reform

This article underscores the importance of dedicating significant societal effort to redesigning the education sector, in line with the logic of ‘What we owe the future,’ a new philosophical model for human cooperation outlined by William MacAskill in his best-selling book.

Evaluating Our Longevity and Evolution

The prospects for humanity's future are uncertain, with accelerated climate change, political unrest, and collective failures challenging the optimism for our species' longevity. This evolving society has often viewed itself as living in the final era, a sentiment that has recurred throughout human culture and history. Despite this, we continue to prioritise short-term gains over long-term benefits, which could be crucial for both our generation and those to come. To truly understand the importance of our era, we must delve into the social evolution of our species, considering both the potential timeline of human existence and the total human population over time.

The evolution of humans has been a remarkable journey, with modern Homo sapiens emerging around 200,000 years ago, mastering tool-making, storytelling, and large-group coordination. These skills, however, did not translate into rapid population growth due to the harsh realities of survival. The advent of agriculture and the subsequent Industrial Revolution marked significant milestones in the evolution of man, leading to an explosive increase in population. Today, with advancements in health, wealth, and longevity, we see a decline in birth rates despite the growing population, which aligns with the human evolution theory that includes the 7 stages of human evolution.

The Current State of Global Education

Our species' future, and by extension the next stage of human evolution, is contingent upon our longevity, which is threatened by our own dual capabilities for self-destruction and remarkable problem-solving. The unpredictable trajectory of human development is highlighted by innovations that can both protect and endanger us. Our continued existence could enable countless future lives, significantly influencing the potential expansion and population size of human evolution's next stage.

The adage 'at the pace of the slowest man' is applicable to all facets of collective work, including social change and community development. Our interconnected population's longevity is a testament to the importance of social cohesion and civic engagement. The threats we face, such as climate change and nuclear war, are the consequences of advancements that have compromised our potential to thrive. A lack of long-term vision has hindered our ability to achieve social welfare without incurring negative consequences.

Vision for the Future: Expanding Humanity's Potential

In the context of global survival, the 'slowest man' could be seen as the 'uneducated man.' The absence of education innovation poses a significant societal challenge, corrupting civic structures, especially leadership. Studies have linked progressive learning systems to life satisfaction and economic prosperity in developed nations. However, without adaptability in education, we risk failing to prepare future generations for a rapidly changing world. Traditional methods of teaching and assessment may impart historical lessons, but they often overlook the importance of fostering innovation through cooperative learning and preparing students for unpredictability.

Transforming Education: A Global Imperative

If we manage to avoid the pitfalls of our own ignorance this century, we stand a chance to significantly influence societal progress and the survival of our species. Should humanity avoid being confined to Earth, our historical place could be reimagined from an endpoint to the beginning of a vast human saga, with societal transformation potentially leading to a future population of approximately 100 trillion over the next 800,000 years. This conservative estimate could increase to quadrillions, should we achieve further societal advancement and extend our species' lifespan.

Transforming the education sector, unlike many sectors, can take generations to achieve. The system must cycle several generations through to be fully renewed, a process that calls for a new pedagogy and educational transformation. Those in the industry, including future_schools, benefit from rethinking education, and we already see numerous educational businesses prospering from an entirely new education structure. However, such institutions are often private, clustered in developed countries, and limited in their recruitment capabilities. To address the global challenges in education, policymakers must engage in cooperation education and apply innovative modes of delivering and assessing learning statewide.

Considering these threats, I hope this article will prompt readers to start addressing the root cause of our civilization's problems through education reform. Redesigning the education sector globally with a focus on educational transformation and new pedagogy will enable us to tackle modern issues, think long-term when implementing solutions, and, most importantly, remain adaptable in our learning capabilities in a highly dynamic and transformative environment.