On April 23, 1635, the first public school in the United States was established in Boston. It was a boys only public school with the intention of preparing each student for college. In 1837, Horace Mann, secretary of education, shared the vision to create a system of professional teachers who would teach students an organized curriculum of basic content.
Basically, public schools in the US were created to educate “the masses” and cultivate a culture of better workers and better citizens — back then, the underlying purpose of schools was to get young people off the streets for several hours during the day while teaching them to read, write and other skills needed for daily jobs.
And not much has changed since then. Take the issue of homework. Clearly, homework was created to keep young people busy and out of trouble. Not everyone is a fan.
Ben Berrafato in an interview with CBS NEWS, challenged the concept of homework in schools by stating that “homework is assigned to students like me without our permission. Thus, homework is slavery. Slavery was abolished with the passing of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. So every school in America has been illegally run for the past 143 years.”
Do the schools of the 17th and 18th centuries still meet the needs of today? We are now met with a new world that requires a new system. During the past year, our world has encountered a virus that has impacted a great number of lives, businesses, relationships and schools. The phrase that is echoed by many is: “I want things to go back to where they used to be.” While this is comforting, neuroscientists have proven that familiarity and comfort often give us the illusion of safety, because our brains are constantly looking for patterns.
On the other hand, innovators are collaborating with educators to answer the question “Where do we go from here?” and how will the future of education look for the next generation. On my podcast, Shepherd Revolution Podcast, I was fortunate enough to sit down with educators from around the world brainstorming that very question, “Where do we go from here?” I learned that core basic academics is still foundational to the learners’ development and the need for supplemental personal development is necessary for the future. So you might be asking yourself, what does that look like, sound like, feel like? Often in education, we discuss concepts and theories. In the short list below I will highlight the four purposes of education in our modern society.
The four purposes of education are to:
Benefit students personally by building on their personal talents.
Boost the economy by generating a succession of qualified new workers.
Help young people understand their culture and appreciate those around them.
Produce politically engaged and compassionate citizens.
As the founder of Shepherd Revolution Leadership Academy, we will be building a private K-8 learning community dedicated to leadership, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the Southeast Colorado Springs area. We believe that the future of education will be built on transferable skills that transcend time, pandemics and generations. Our five core competencies below will allow each learner to honor traditional education while building towards the future:
Curiosity and creativity
Criticism and courage
Collaboration and contribution
Compassion and citizenship
Composure and connection
Our vision of the future of education is to be the bridge that moves the next generation from consumer learners to critical thinking learners. To create leaders who are more selfless while developing muscles of courage. Those who exemplify a heart of humility while cultivating a culture of curiosity and creativity. People who understand our uniqueness while embracing our differences. We believe that when we educate differently, we can create healthier families and communities.
In the book, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, by Marshall Goldsmith, we are taught that the things we used to do that made us successful won’t be the things that we can take to the next level of evolution. Education is evolving faster than we anticipated, at Shepherd Revolution Leadership Academy we are embracing the change and my question to educators: Will you be part of the education evolution?
David Prosper is a local educator with the Shepherd Revolution Leadership Academy in Southeast Colorado Springs.