School systems in the Modern World

How should we prepare children for life in the 21st Century? What skills and attitudes will they need? And will five GCSE A* to C passes help them secure jobs in a global economy that is now based on information rather than manufacturing?

Indeed, will jobs even exist in the future or will it turn out that they were peculiarity of industrialisation and are no longer relevant in an information economy?

The reality is that we have no idea what the future will be like yet our schools are still run as they were when the system was created. Bells ring and cohorts of same-age children move from place to place to learn pre-packaged content that they are subsequently tested on. It’s a factory-style system and was designed for the industrial world children used to enter when they left school.

Many people believe that this system is no longer fit for purpose and there is currently much debate about what should take its place.

We are educating children using a system that was designed for an industrial world that no longer exists. Standardised tests, the learning of facts and the concept of ‘one right answer’ are no longer appropriate or helpful.


This section will tell you more about the issues. I hope you enjoy it, but if you do nothing else, please watch this video in which Sir Ken Robinson explains the underlying problem. It is well worth 11 minutes of your time. 



Next: What do the children themselves think?



© Brian Smith 2015