Magazine article Talent Development

Education Evolution: How Many Other Institutions Look Exactly as They Did 40 Years Ago? (News You Can Use)

Magazine article Talent Development

Education Evolution: How Many Other Institutions Look Exactly as They Did 40 Years Ago? (News You Can Use)

Article excerpt

It's time for a pop quiz: What U.S. institution has remained virtually indistinguishable from its early 20th-century counterpart? Is it banks? No. Grocery stores? Guess again. Hospitals? No. Give up? It's the U.S. educational system.

Daniel Pink, author of Free Agent Nation, writes in Reason magazine, "How many other places look and feel exactly as they did 20, 30, or 40 years ago?" Step into a high school classroom and you'll be transported back to your childhood; little has changed beyond the addition of some technological gadgetry.

Though the pedagogy and practice of mandatory education have remained static, much in the world has changed. A revolution has taken place: The currency of the 21st century isn't widgets but knowledge. An economy based on manufacturing has been transformed into a knowledge economy, but, says Pink, we're still preparing our children to work in factories.

Sit down, be quiet, follow rules, do as everyone else does. Those are the principles formalized education teaches, says Pink. But, he argues, a country that's evolving to a free agent nation made up of freelancers, consultants, business owners, temps, independent contractors, and so forth should be educating its children differently.

More than 30 million people make up Pink's so-called free agent nation; that's one out of four U.S. workers. According to Pink, the quiet revolution that has been occurring in the way the United States works must now be reflected in its educational system. …

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