Creating a Sustainable Future

Finnish educator Pasi Sahlberg stated in one of his books that the pace of changes in the world is growing exponentially. The economy, society, and technology have kept up with this dynamic, but many schools remain similar to those of the past.

“It is impossible to predict exactly what the world will be like in 10 years, but we must prepare students for this new environment. They must have the knowledge, skills, and willingness to compete, cooperate, and collaborate with their peers worldwide. The current model does not achieve this objective.”

The former Director-General of the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture says that advanced educational systems focus on flexibility, risk-taking ability, creativity, and competence to solve problems through modern teaching methods that stimulate collaborative learning and the contextualized use of technology.

“It is a reaction to teaching content alone. We need to give more space to creativity and innovation. It is a requirement of the modern world, which demands students to be prepared for the knowledge economy.”

According to educational researcher Helen Malone, “Recognizing that education plays a key role in economic growth and that it is necessary to invest in ways to leverage the student’s learning process is not an option but the only possible path for a country to be globally competitive.” Any nation’s goal should be to have students with the necessary skills for the world’s challenges.

Stimulating and developing 21st-century skills in students is a basic necessity. Former Vice President of the Asia Society, Vivien Stewart, believes that in order to achieve this, systems need to have: “a vision of the future and leadership, ambitious goals, a pursuit of equity, high-quality teachers and school staff, alignment and coherence, responsible resource management, motivated students, and a focus on the future and the global. These are the common elements in all successful systems.”
American-Bengali educator Salman Amin “Sal” Khan emphasizes that “the internationalization of knowledge brings greater challenges. Promoting intercultural interactions among educators helps them understand more about the world and become familiar with the competitiveness that students will encounter.”

The founder of Khan Academy says that “current systems are filled with inefficiencies and a disconnect between what students are taught and what they need to learn. This issue becomes more serious daily as the world changes while educational systems do not. This issue impacts the future of children, families, communities, and nations.”

It is known that nothing is permanent, so systems need to be prepared to adapt to new realities. They must be agile in identifying new demands and reacting like other social organisms.