One of the key aspects of a resilient society is a resilient people: people with the right skills, the right attitude and a flexible mindset. As we enter 2020, the “change of everything” is on our minds.  Shaping the Future of the New Economy and Society REQUIRES the shaping of a “new educational system”.  The World Economic Forum this year is launching a research 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 catalyze 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.

Eight critical characteristics in learning content and experiences have been identified to define high-quality learning in the Fourth Industrial Revolution—IN their terms: “Education 4.0”:

1. Global citizenship skills: Include content that focuses on building awareness about the wider world, sustain- ability 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 programs 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. Shall we join the experiment?  Shall we lead the change?

Acute Realizations:

  • Creating system-level change will require closer collaboration between education ministries, educators and private sector leaders to connect and scale those efforts to create holistic education systems.
    • Activating Education 4.0 will require greater alignment between actors on defining and assessing the skills of the future, preparing the teaching workforce to lead this transition, and enhancing connectivity across schools and school systems.
    • CHANGE of this scale will require other stakeholders to join the Forum platform to define and implement a holistic action agenda to realize Education 4.0. The Education 4.0 initiative will contribute to the Platform for Shaping the Future of the New Economy and Society’s vision to impact 1 billion people with improved educational and job opportunities by 2030.

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