Schools of the Future: Defining New Models of Education for Industry 4.0

Published on 21st January 2020

In the context of job disruption, demand for new skills and increased socioeconomic polarization, primary and secondary school systems have a critical role to play in preparing the global citizens and workforces of the future.

Education models must adapt to equip children with the skills to create a more inclusive, cohesive and productive world.

This white paper (summary) is the outcome of a global consultative process initiated by the World Economic Forum’s Platform for Shaping the Future of the New Economy and Society to identify promising models of quality education for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It is the first output of the Forum’s Education 4.0 initiative, which aims to catalyse systems change by mobilizing a broad and innovative coalition of relevant stakeholders around new models, new standards and a new momentum for action to transform the future of education. Key Findings Eight critical characteristics in learning content and experiences have been identified to define high-quality learning in the Fourth Industrial Revolution—“Education 4.0”:

1. Global citizenship skills: Include content that focuses on building awareness about the wider world, sustainability and playing an active role in the global community.

2. Innovation and creativity skills: Include content that fosters skills required for innovation, including complex problem-solving, analytical thinking, creativity and systems analysis.

3. Technology skills: Include content that is based on developing digital skills, including programming, digital responsibility and the use of technology.

4. Interpersonal skills: Include content that focuses on interpersonal emotional intelligence, including empathy, cooperation, negotiation, leadership and social awareness.

5. Personalized and self-paced learning: Move from a system where learning is standardized, to one based on the diverse individual needs of each learner, and flexible enough to enable each learner to progress at their own pace.

6. Accessible and inclusive learning: Move from a system where learning is confined to those with access to school buildings to one in which everyone has access to learning and is therefore inclusive.

7. Problem-based and collaborative learning: Move from process-based to project- and problem-based content delivery, requiring peer collaboration and more closely mirroring the future of work.

8. Lifelong and student-driven learning: Move from a system where learning and skilling decrease over one’s lifespan to one where everyone continuously improves on existing skills and acquires new ones based on their individual needs.

Through a global crowdsourcing campaign, the World Economic Forum identified 16 examples of schools, education programmes and school systems that are paving the way toward Education 4.0, as defined above, based on the uniqueness of their approach, demonstrated impact and geographical diversity. These examples are meant to serve as inspiration for the shift towards a more holistic transformation of education systems globally.

Courtesy: World Economic Forum

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