Learning in the future will be about inspiration and insights
"We need teachers who know how to tackle uncertain situations, and who help students establish a high self esteem and world view that they will do well despite of what will happen in the world", says Saku Tuominen.
Schools of the future prepare students for the continuously changing world, not just the next examination.
Students of the future will be eager to learn. They will be inspired by learning and will actively pursue fresh insights. This is the view of a group of experts from different fields who were invited by DNA to discuss current and future learning.
“My motive in studying to be a teacher was that school was quite an unpleasant place for me when I was a student. The teaching was bookish, and it was as if we were in a bubble. Even today we still extensively test information that is simply memorized – information that can be found in the blink of an eye with a smartphone”, says Kati Tiainen, Director, Global Digital Learning Strategy Team at Microsoft WW Education.
“The easiest way to get a good grade is to read a lot just before the examination”, says Pekka Peura.
Peura is the rector of an upper secondary school and is known as an active reformer of learning in the field of education.
On the world’s terms, or PISA’s?
Schools should educate students for our world – a world which is changing ever more rapidly.
“The teachers we need will be those who know how to tackle uncertain situations, and who help students establish high self-esteem and a world view that will allow them to do well in spite of what may happen in the world. That is not easy”, says Saku Tuominen, co-founder and creative director of School, an education development company.
In addition to teachers, Tuominen challenges the entire education system. His wish is that Finland, which has always received high scores in the PISA study, would have the courage to question and help revise the entire PISA system.
“That is where the challenge is. It is very difficult to make changes when you are the best in the world. And if you no longer are the best after that, you have failed”, says Tiainen.
Effective use of digital tools
Peura says that young people must fully assimilate the digital tools and services that will allow them to deal effectively with the digital revolution. Tiainen is confident that digital tools also present many opportunities for new kinds of learning.
“Technology should not be used to make old learning methods automatic, such as migrating workbook exercises to an app. Rather, technology should be a tool for gathering information, and engaging in discussion and interaction”, says Tiainen.
According to Tiainen, digital games are an ideal way of promoting problem-solving and teamwork. Minecraft, for example, is already utilised as a learning tool all around the world.
Learning and interaction skills
At their best, digital tools support schools where all students get the opportunity to learn in their own ways. However, tools – and teachers familiar with them – are not by themselves going to change the world. If new kinds of things are learned in a new way, then old indicators, such as examinations, are not likely to be effective. Peura sees promising aspects in the curricula, updated this year.
“The curricula no longer refer to skill measurement, but evaluation is now considered to be goal setting, and the evaluation process consists of instructing and encouraging students”, says Peura.
According to Peura, instead of grades, students should aim for key skills related to learning and interaction.