Creating the Future's Schools

By Hedley Beare | Go to book overview

3

From a society of factories to a society of knowledge workers

We already know much about the world-view which will dominate thinking into the early decades of the twenty-first century (see, for example, Brundtland, 1987; Drexler, 1986; Harman, 1988; Ohmae, 1990; Reich, 1992; Kim and Dator, 1994; Zohar and Marshall, 1994) and some of those aspects are the subject of this and the next chapter. The picture is not static, however, and trend lines change. To take a well-known source, in 1982 John Naisbitt wrote Megatrends: Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives, a book widely read, much quoted and often consulted as a basis for planning. Eight years later in 1990 he and his wife wrote a sequel, Megatrends 2000, in which they identify ten different trends. They followed with Megatrends for Women (Aburdene and Naisbitt, 1993), then The Global Paradox (Naisbitt, 1994), and in 1995 Megatrends Asia: The Eight Asian Megatrends that are Changing the World. Rather than simplifying the picture, then, the Naisbitts had expanded their list to include two or three dozen megatrends.

On the other hand, some trends are so firmly established that they deliver the inevitable and the predictable. Peter Drucker wrote in 1969 in The Age of Discontinuity that had Rip Van Winkle been an economist and had he gone to sleep in 1913, he might have awakened in the mid-1960s to find the world much as he had predicted it would be, in spite of the intervention of two world wars, the Great Depression and widespread industrialization. The world’s economic growth continued ‘largely along the lines that had been well and truly laid down in those distant days by our grandparents and great-grandparents’, said Drucker (1969:9).

While some predictions stand up better than others, the interesting thing about them all is this. Human beings everywhere tend to put them into picture-language, favouring some metaphors over others in making their explanations

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Creating the Future's Schools
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figures ix
  • Acknowledgements xi
  • 1 - The Myth of the Unchanging School 1
  • Part I - The Big Picture 9
  • 2 - From an Old World-View to a New 11
  • 3 - From a Society of Factories to a Society of Knowledge Workers 23
  • 4 - New Ways of Knowing 36
  • 5 - The Networked Universe 54
  • 6 - From Bureaucracy to Enterprise Networks 65
  • Part II - Looking at the Practicalities 83
  • 7 - Schools Which Break the Mould 85
  • 8 - Choosing What Future to Have 99
  • 9 - Building a Manifesto for the School as a Provider 113
  • 10 - On Reporting Outcomes 128
  • 11 - Reworking the Curriculum Within a New Mindset 144
  • 12 - Teachers for the School of the Future 166
  • 13 - A New Kind of School 186
  • Bibliography 194
  • Index 203
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