Education Cliff

The threat on schools!

The problem of schools comes from what they think they do right, and not from what they are accused to do wrong.

Schools rightly seek to achieve ideals such as security, justice, accuracy or equality.

But they seek to achieve these ideals in a non-measured, or excessive way, thus generating institutional cultures that are in complete contradiction with the Entrepreneurial Mindset.

In a VUCA world, such institutional cultures are slowly but surely driving schools towards the Education Cliff.

Challenges for Education in the 21st century

Sugata Mitra - Ken Robinson - Carol Dweck - Andreas Schleicher - Jack Ma


The Problem of the Precautionary Principle

School are not able to respond to speed by speed.

The precautionary principle too often forces teachers to prove that the activities they offer are "safe".

In such a context, it is useless to expect teachers to take initiatives.

By approaching the idea of risk with an Entrepreneurial Mindset, schools could take into account the relation between a risk and the probability and the consequences of its materialization.

The elimination of risks at all costs should  not be the only rationale behind the strategy to adopt in schools.


Specialization, silos, rigidity

The division of knowledge into school subjects leads to organizational silos within schools.

These silos act at multiple levels and inhibit innovation in schools. Silos are one of the main forces driving school towards the Education Cliff.

The division of knowledge into school subjects also requires great planning efforts.

The importance of the resources engaged into the planning process results in a monoculture of planning.

This monoculture does not allow schools to explore the new relationships to time which are needed in the 21st century world, such as the ability to manage the short term, the immediacy, or the simultaneity of digital communication.


The Demonization of Mistakes

The preeminence of the "good grade" makes schools unable of successfully integrating mistakes in the learning process.

In the paradigm of the "good grade", mistakes are not an opportunity to think, but the factor that explains the gap to the maximum score. Error is by definition unfortunate and avoidable.

In a volatile and uncertain world, the priority of evaluation should lie within taking action.

To nurture thinking and action planning, mistakes must be considered as a source of learning, and risk taking, as well as iteration should be encouraged.

An entrepreneurial approach drives towards action and insists on the possibility of pivoting in order to obtain the desired result.


The Same School for All

"School for all" is to be understood today as the SAME school for all, not as a school where difference is taken into account.

Thanks to the internet, teachers have access to unlimited resources in terms of pedagogical approach, teaching scenarios or simply exercises. However, differentiation is not implemented.

Dominated by standardization, schools do not manage to increase the personal achievement of their students.

The fundamentally individual reality of talent runs up against the school's taste for standardization.


# Education Cliff

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