If the pandemic has revealed anything, it is the lack of leadership. You can almost see the company crumbling. At the same time, we can sense the possibility of a radical new solution built around the fact that young people – some very young – have an interest in learning, in their personal growth and in having an innate desire to be part of society. rescue.
We find that young people seem to be a group of 50 percent anxious and 50 percent eager to change the world. They need focus and a way to mobilize both short-term success and a clear, moving path to fundamental changes in the way and what we learn and their impact on the creation of a planet. better.
The current education system is devoid of purpose and fails to capture the interests and needs of the vast majority of students. It does not generate individual and collective commitment essential to revolutionary learning. It does not function as a force for fairness and equality. It is a fault of the system, not of the students and teachers.
The pandemic has baffled schooling and, as such, presents a unique opportunity to transform the system. First, we must stop COVID-19 itself, addressing its immediate devastation. We must then seize the opportunity to create a new learning system. This will require a moon-like campaign that we can call Mission Learning. It turns out that we know a lot about what is needed, which is a focus on four interrelated fundamental pillars: well-being and learning, social intelligence, monetary investment and a well-managed system
What are the four fundamental pillars?
Well-being and learning – The goal of well-being is to develop people good at learning and good at life. It focuses on purpose, meaning, connecting to others and making a contribution beyond oneself. Equity for all is a centerpiece. Learning is based on the 6Cs of global skills (character, citizenship, collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking).
All of this is underpinned by new learning with students as active partners with others, including teachers, parents and the community. The joint work of health workers and teachers will be at the heart of this new learning. Many of these practices are already in place but need to become a system priority. We need to revamp the assessment system to focus on formative development of global skills and new metrics based on indicators of achievement.
Social intelligence – The ability to work productively in diverse groups requires social intelligence. It is partly processed by the 6Cs and further developed through collective projects with communities and partner companies. Social intelligence emphasizes “cultural competence”. Increased diversity in this world is obvious. The variable is whether it will become a force of destruction or a source of creativity for humanity.
Social intelligence, interestingly, involves understanding the role of technology – learning to live with and beyond. It is worth asking whether we have underestimated humans and overestimated machines.
Monetary investment – For fairness, equality and new capabilities – the ‘new monetary theory’ (NMT) as it is called – apparently came out of nowhere, underpinned by half a dozen in-depth economic analyzes, for example Boushey , 2019, Unbound: How Inequalities Restrict Our Economy and What We Can Do About It, Harvard University Press). NMT first documents that the economy has been structured over the past 40 years or more to relentlessly favor the very rich over the middle and most disadvantaged to the point where the survival of the poor and the rich is threatened.
NMT is not afraid of deficits as a means to a deeper end; it recommends investing in support at the lowest level, as well as in development capacity: early learning and support for children, resources linked to a more solid infrastructure to deal with poverty, jobs and quality of life. teaching and learning. Its measure of success is new prosperity at all levels of society and for society as a whole.
Well-managed systems – When people complain about bad leadership, they are usually talking about corrupt and / or incompetent leaders. However successful it may be, it is not because of science and technology per se, but rather because of scientists. collaborating (social intelligence) and competent systems Answer. A good old-fashioned skill for getting things done seems to be gone. The solution must include the establishment of well-managed systems dedicated to the first three drivers of mission learning. I bet it’s easier to develop quality systems when you rely on the good things rather than the bad ones. We need well-managed systems to be the hallmark of mission learning.
The pandemic has swept away many elements of an ineffective learning system. Success is possible as a modern day moonshot. The good news is that the most powerful potential transformative forces are inversely related to the hierarchy. In other words, the main energies for radical change seem to lie at the bottom: students, teachers, principals and parents. The community comes second (school boards, communities, non-profit organizations, businesses). A final distant is the political level, where we find a dearth of ideas.
We need a political breakthrough. There seems to be a glimmer of dissatisfaction among some decision makers. A few system leaders who are ready to step forward and lead the learning of the mission can begin to turn the tide. In this regard, the “new leadership” consists of partnerships and co-determination at all levels. People at all levels need to be cultivated and seen as “experts” and “apprentices” because their ideas and ownership are essential for success.
New leadership emerges
A new conception of leadership is emerging from the pandemic. We would call it democratization of leadership in which participation, voice, inclusion, innovation and influence are on the rise. It will require coordination, and something even more difficult –the integration-leaders at different levels who can forge unity of purpose around the new agenda. Equity of participation and greater equality of results are at the heart of this mission in the service of both social justice and social prosperity – a win-win proposition.
The human instinct for survival runs deep. Social intelligence – the ability to work effectively in diverse groups is more variable. But when the conditions are right – a weak and ineffective status quo combined with desirable alternatives such as the four fundamental pillars – profound change can occur over relatively short periods of time – a few years, not a few decades. We need leadership at all levels, including at the top, to make this happen.
As 2022 approaches, now is a good time, but there are many obstacles. A new goal and a new public education system as an instrument of societal transformation is our best hope. Do we dare to miss this rare opportunity!