Few people are genuinely engaged in transforming the education system for the better. Far more people are more interested in furthering their own gains. However, the KnowledgeWorks Foundation is one group that appears to actually care about the future of education and is focused on improving it for everyone. What originally started out as a traditional grant foundation has evolved into quite a bit more in recent months. Much of their work today is focused on futures studies in education…one of the things that caught my eye and has prompted this post.
Social enterprises, grassroots projects, and innovative development make up the majority of KnowledgeWorks’ activities. They attempt to build high school designs around several different models. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) curriculum planning is aimed at increasing technology literacy among younger students. Early college high schools are designed to provide education programs for gifted students who have demonstrated that they are ready for something beyond what they normally study in secondary school classes.
Local programs are focused around the Ohio Education Matters organization. Research and advocacy activities promoted by the organization are supposed to be non-biased, which means that they aim to develop policies that are beneficial for everyone involved. However, this doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the work that this innovative group is doing. They are forecasting that students will actually relate to the world through neuro-enhancement tools and networks by the year 2020 and are developing programs based n this scenario. I find this both fascinating and exciting.
The Future of Education?
Neuroethics remains a major topic for the organization, whose website provides links to a variety of different groups that believe in liberty of thought. This might make the group seem rather extreme to some observers. Many members of the general population think very little about such futuristic themes. However, that doesn’t mean that this organization isn’t on to something. For instance, open-source principles and the way that they free up production is a major area of study within their programs. Linking resources together and providing open accreditation through major institutions helps to simplify the learning process in general.
Few people would disagree with the idea of giving scientists easily accessible access to laboratory materials if their research is in the best interest of humanity. Fewer people would argue that giving students access to a greater number of resources is a bad idea as well…we need more of this everywhere. Therefore, one might conclude that the future of education is indeed brighter than what some would lead the general population to believe. We need innovative programs such as these that are advocated by KnowledgeWorks and administrators that are willing to lead the way to make this happen. I’m not advocating the use of students as guinea pigs either. I am, however, advocating the use of principles and techniques within schools that have been proven by research and can increase the overall success rate of students. I’m hopeful that the work being done by the KnowledgeWorks Foundation accomplishes this very thing.
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