The aim of the education system is to train students for the future. Based on this premise, we ask: for what future? We are living in a time of accelerated changes. Globalization, digitalization, robotization and countless other technological advances. We are living in a world that is changing so much we do not even know what the professions and needs of the future will be.
As the sociologist Zygmunt Bauman wrote in Education in Liquid Modernity, “The present change is not like past changes. At no turning-point in human history did educators face a challenge strictly comparable to the one presented by the current watershed. The art of living in a world oversaturated with information has still to be learned. And so has the yet more mindbogglingly difficult art of grooming human beings for such a life.”
The challenge is immense. New trends in education reveal a change in attitude. It is not enough to know, know-how is needed too. Knowledge is not enough, one must also act. In order to do this, it is necessary to teach people to develop new and better capabilities: critical thinking, analysis capacity, complex problem-solving, teamwork … How can we teach creativity? How can we teach understanding?
In the knowledge or liquid society of the 21st century, educational institutions’ mission is transformed in order to train professionals with interdisciplinary knowledge and skills that allow them to develop singular abilities and the necessary aptitude to find the solutions to the problems of the future, while feeling that they are the best version of themselves.
There is no doubt that the debate on education inevitably requires profound reflection. In this edition of Quorum, we open the debate concerning the challenges of contemporary education.