The Future of Education in the American South


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This report outlines futures scenarios and supporting information surrounding the future of Education in the American South and was created by a group of multidisciplinary designers at SCAD for the Design Management Design Futures class of Winter 2014.

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The Future of Education in the American South

  2. 2. THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH 2 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Future of Education in the American South From Past to Present A Brief Historical Analysis for Framing the Future macro forces Forces Reshaping the Global, Domestic, and Regional Socioeconomic Landscape educational forces Forces Influencing the Future of Education & The South Future Scenarios Narratives of the Future of Education in the American South Resiliency Principles Decision-making for the Future Who Matters Today A Letter to the Stakeholders of Southern Education appendix 3 8 16 24 31 54 59 67 Contents
  3. 3. Executive summary the future of Education in The American South The globe can be broken down into continents that can be broken in to countries that are further broken down into regions, towns, and communities. With each progressive cross-section there are specific values, traditions, and needs. In the United States, education has consistently been a hot topic of debate regarding how the country stays intellectually competitive against developing and emerging nations. Of all the geographic and cultural regions, Southern education has an unfortunate, but consistent pattern of falling at the bottom of all ranked lists regardless of scale or measurement. If the US is to move forward with its current agenda, it must start at the bottom and plan for the future of education in the American South.
  4. 4. THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH 4 MAKING INFORMED CHOICES FOR THE FUTURE It is not possible to predict the future, but it is possible to plan for it. This report explicitly does not provide solutions and should be taken as the introductory sentences of a collaborative conversation when planning for the future. Such a conversation requires people to be honest in communicating their assumptions that influence the decisions they make. The conversation should include what is uncertain and what may already be determined, see and re-perceive where things currently are, look ahead to where the industry may go, and question all that is normally presented as a ‘given’. By the end of this report, stakeholders should be better equipped to have an extended conversation and use the outcomes to confidently make informed strategic choices. Elements which envision what tomorrow might look like in order for leaders to make choices now, have been carefully collected and curated for maximum effect. Each section must first be considered in isolation for its own merits and then considered together to create a comprehensive picture of what could unfold. Nothing contained within these pages is a prediction of what will pass, instead it is only stating what has been, what is, and what could be. Below is a short description of the relevance of each section for today’s stakeholders and decision-makers. FROM PAST TO PRESENT Simply put, preparing for the future must start with understanding the past. Revisiting what has already come to pass creates a solid foundation for framing events that led to the current state-of-affairs. Strategic foresight should leverage others’ experiences, identify patterns or cycles that exist over time, and relate events that might otherwise go unnoticed. This section has three elements: a timeline, a description of generations, and historical influences on the education system. It does not contain judgment or evaluation, but can be used to realize what may lie ahead based on what has already happened. MACRO FORCES Myopic vision is detrimental to any decision-maker’s ability in crafting a strategic plan. This section is invaluable as it speaks on behalf of a systems-perspective which understands ‘a change in one area will affect all other areas to some degree.’ External forces inevitably apply pressure where even the most indirect industry shift has implications a decision-maker must consider. Each force has a brief description with examples of signals that a decision-maker can monitor and watch for. These specific forces were selected out of many because of their impact on the South, included as part of each force description. EDUCATIONAL FORCES Compared to the indirect nature of macro forces, educational forces directly influence and change the educational sector. By selecting and defining the right forces, a decision-maker is able to watch and monitor how the forces are having an institutional effect and anticipate what might be coming next. These educational forces also affect current policy and strategies and should be considered as part of a backcasting-forecasting perspective. Executive summary
  5. 5. THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH 5 Executive summary FUTURE SCENARIOS Scenarios are a vehicle for decision-makers to imagine how choices today can impact the future. These stories connect the collected data, research, and current activities together in a way that decision-makers can relate to and imagine themselves a part of the narrative. Upon reading this section, a decision- maker should challenge and be challenged by these stories to see their own assumptions and the role these assumptions play in decision-making. These stories are not far-fetched fantasies, but plausible evolutions from the present to future. This section is about enabling decision-makers to envision the future, thereby increasing the strength of their strategic foresight. Included with each story are the sign-posts decision-makers should watch for as they move-ahead. RESILIENCE PRINCIPLES Decision-makers have the tough responsibility of envisioning the future while making decisions in the now. Resilience principles act as pillars that support a strategic plan and act as a guiding light that decision-makers can refer back to whenever they require guidance. Well developed principles can be referenced as critical success factors for any business regardless of whether the industry is stable or in turmoil. Each resilience principle in this section has a set of questions a decision-maker should reference as a starting point for building a strategic plan. Decision-makers should use these principles to frame, inform and validate the choice being made. WHO MATTERS TODAY This section is about understanding the system of educational stakeholders and who collectively shapes education. As demonstrated in the other sections, the future evolves across a web of interconnected pieces that include a historical analysis, macro and industry forces, and a set of principles that are markers for planning. Everyone involved must be able to understand their role within the system and how their present decisions have immediate and delayed influence on others. Each letter is written to a different educational stakeholder and provides the final connection among this report’s sections so that each element may be leveraged and utilized for maximum value. This report was compiled over a 10 week period by a comparatively novice group of design students who leveraged their research abilities to understand context, took on the role of strategists to make sense of what they found, and designed the final document in a way that made the findings accessible to any interested party. That is not to say that the information presented is any less comprehensive or professional than what could be expected from a practicing futurist. The intent is certainly the same, and the findings equally important. Making informed choices for the future
  6. 6. THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH 6 List of definitions used in this report [1] FUTURES Futures studies (also called futurology and futurism) is the study of postulating possible, probable, and preferable futures and the world-views and myths that underlie them. Types of futures include: • Possible - might happen based on future knowledge • Plausible - could happen based on current knowledge • Probable - likely to happen based on current trends • Preferable - want to happen based on values STRATEGIC CHOICES Strategic choices are intentional and data-based organizational moves that are part of a learning methodology. These choices are made in a dynamic and often political environment, that requires leaders to quickly adapt to institutional needs. The strategic choice should be one that aligns most with company/organizational objectives and goals. STRATEGIC FORESIGHT Strategic foresight is the ability to create and maintain a high quality, coherent and functional forward view, and to use the insight arising in useful organizational ways. Strategic planning always includes analysis, but it may or may not involve serious foresight on the way to developing a plan, or taking an action. STRATEGIC PLANNING Strategic planning is an organization’s process of defining its strategy or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy. Generally, strategic planning deals with at least one of three key questions: • “What do we do?” • “For whom do we do it?” • “How do we excel?” FORCE A force is the collision of trends and activities that are dynamically influencing the future. Some forces can be called “predetermined” as they are completely outside anyone’s control and will play out in any story about the future, but these are the underlying factors beneath events, news items, and themes. Forces often influence each other and do not necessarily occur in isolation. TREND A trend is a measurable occurrence over time that is demonstrable either in the change or consistency of its appearance. They last longer than a fads, but are less stable than a tradition. Trends can become forces and there are often times trends within trends. Executive summary
  7. 7. THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH 7 BACKCASTING Backcasting starts with defining a desirable future and then working backwards to identify policies and programs that will connect the future to the present. The point is to envision the ideal conditions that define the steps to attain those conditions, rather than taking steps that are merely a continuation of present methods extrapolated into the future. FORECASTING Forecasting is about codifying the potential of any industry and what can be expected in the future – predictions based on market research regarding information and limitations within the current market. Forecasting relates to what will happen if implementing a given strategy in a possible environment and helps to determine the likelihood of the possible environments. STEEP+H STEEP+H is categorization system using the headers Social, Technological, Economic, Environmental, Political (and an addition for this report) and Health, to structure data collection and storage. In reality, data rarely falls neatly within one category, but it does provide a format for filtering and sorting a large volume of information into manageable chunks. SCENARIO Scenarios are plausible, coherent stories about the future aimed at making sense of uncertain issues and clarifying strategic options for decision-makers. Scenarios provide a non-threatening environment for exploring multiple perspectives, creating a shared language and leading to understanding and trust. SIGNALS Signals are specific examples of forces in context that help provide concrete evidence for the more abstract forces. SIGNPOSTS Signposts can be thought of as markers for decision-makers to ‘watch out for’ that can indicate a shift in trends or the visible effect of forces in action. As part of scenarios, signposts help highlight what would need to occur in order for a certain future to manifest. THE FUTURE IS NOWThis report contains sections that span generations, professional disciplines, and stakeholder perspectives. Even if a decision-maker doesn’t realize it, they are making choices about the future; and the idea is to be aware of these choices by intentionally and thoughtfully integrating the information contained in these pages. The implications may not be obvious, but the point is to look back in 15 years and see what transpired now to bring about tomorrow. Executive summary List of definitions used in this report
  8. 8. from past to present A brief historical analysis for framing the future The future is not predictable but there are patterns that develop over time, generational cycles, decade over decade, and ebbs and flows. Education has a unique set of patterns and cycles as knowledge is traditionally passed from teacher to student. That means that teacher training, knowledge, personality, values, and ideals all hint at what information is translated from one generation to the next. Each generation reflects a shared perspective that creates a typical characterization of that generation. There are major events that affect each generation and shape how they move forward, and more importantly for education, shape what is taught, and how it is taught. There is a kind of paradox in education as the novice does not know what they need to learn and must depend on others to determine what is “best” - the old adage “you don’t know, what you don’t know.” The system of education is further complicated as it does not exist in isolation. The roles of family, political movements, institutional funding, natural disasters, cognitive science, and emerging technology all affect how the system evolves as part of society. Throughout history there are a few system elements that consistently influenced the role and definition of education. Decision-makers should consider the following pages thinking about what has changed overtime, what social norms and ideals have colored their own education, and what consequences of modern activities have yet to emerge.
  9. 9. historicalanalysisofeducation[2] G.I.SilentBabyBoomersGenerationXMillennials GENERATIONS COMINGOFAGE SOCIAL TECHNOLOGICAL ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICAL HEALTH EDUCATIONAL 192019401960198020001930195019701990201020202014 .2.3.1 .6 .4.5 .7.8.91011121315 . .4.1 .5 .7.8.910111213 .2 .6.3 . .5.812 . .71014 11 .21 .22 .23 . .12 .13 .14 .15 . .21 .22 .23.24.25 .1 .2 .3 . 18 19 . .5 .6 Crisisisanerainwhich America’sinstitutionallifeis torndownandrebuiltfrom thegroundup—alwaysin responsetoaperceived threattothenation’svery survival.Civicauthority revives,culturalexpression findsacommunitypurpose, andpeoplebegintolocate themselvesasmembersofa largergroup. Thegenerationthatcameof ageduringthisFourthTurning wastheHeroarchetypeG.I. Generation,whosecollective spiritandcan-dooptimism epitomizedthemoodof theera. Highisanerawhen institutionsarestrongand individualismisweak.Society isconfidentaboutwhere itwantstogocollectively, evenifthoseoutsidethe majoritariancenterfeelstifled bytheconformity. Comingofageduringthis HighwastheArtistarchetype SilentGeneration,Knownfor theircaution,conformity,and institutionaltrust,Silentyoung adultsembodiedtheethos oftheHigh.Mostmarried early,soughtstablecorporate jobs,andslippedquietly intoAmerica’sgleamingnew suburbs. Awakeningisanerawhen institutionsareattackedinthe nameofpersonalandspiritual autonomy.Justwhensocietyis reachingitshightideofpublic progress,peoplesuddenlytire ofsocialdisciplineandwantto recaptureasenseofpersonal authenticity.Youngactivistsand spiritualistslookbackatthe previousHighasaneraofcultural poverty. Comingofageduringthis AwakeningwastheProphet archetypeBoomGeneration, whosepassionateidealism andsearchforauthenticself- expressionepitomizedthemood oftheera. Unravelingisinmanywaystheopposite ofaHigh.Institutionsareweakand distrusted,whileindividualismisstrong andflourishing.HighsfollowCrises, whichteachthelessonthatsocietymust coalesceandbuild.Unravelingfollow Awakenings,whichteachthelessonthat societymustatomizeandenjoy. UnravelingwastheNomadarchetype GenerationX,whosepragmatic,free agentpersonaandSurvivor-styleself- testinghaveembodiedthemoodof theera. Unravelingisinmanyways theoppositeofaHigh. Institutionsareweakand distrusted,whileindividualism isstrongandflourishing. HighsfollowCrises,which teachthelessonthat societymustcoalesceand build.Unravelingfollow Awakenings,whichteach thelessonthatsocietymust atomizeandenjoy. UnravelingwastheNomad archetypeGenerationX, whosepragmatic,freeagent personaandSurvivor-style self-testinghaveembodied themoodoftheera. CRISIS: “DEPRESSIONTOWAR” GENERATIONAL TURNINGS HIGH: “AMERICANHIGH” AWAKENING: “CONSCIOUSNESSAWAKENING” CRISIS: “NEXTREVOLUTION” UNRAVELING: “LONGBOOM&CULTUREWARS” 14 .24 *AllnumberscanbereferencedintheAppendix(Pg.68)
  10. 10. THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH 10 Definingageneration [3] A ‘Generation’ is the aggregate of all people born over a span of roughly twenty years, or about the length of one phase of life: childhood, young adulthood, midlife, and old age. Generations that experience similar early-life experiences often develop similar collective personas, and follow similar life-trajectories. They share their experiences with their peers and tend to have a sense of common perceived membership in that generation. Strauss and Howe discovered a pattern in the way different types of generations follow one another in time. They identified a sequence of four generational archetypes which they call ‘Prophet, Nomad, Hero, and Artist’ that have recurred throughout American history. G.I. GENERATION (HERO, BORN 1901 – 1924) The G.I. Generation was born after the ‘Third Great Awakening’ of the late 19th century. They enjoyed a ‘good kid’ reputation as the beneficiaries of new playgrounds, scouting clubs, vitamins, and child-labor restrictions. They came of age with the sharpest rise in school achievement ever recorded. As young adults, they were the first Miss Americas and All-American athletes. In midlife, they were subsidized by the G.I. Bill and built up the postwar economic system, facilitating upward mobility, erecting suburbs, inventing vaccines, plugging missile gaps, and launching moon rockets. They reveled in the strength of the family as a stable institution, but no generation in the history of polling has gotten along worse with its children. They were greatly invested in civic life, institutions, and community and focused more on actions and behavior than on values and beliefs. As senior citizens, they have safeguarded their ‘entitlements’ but have had little influence over culture and values. GENERATIONAL ARCHETYPE: HERO Heroes are born after a spiritual awakening, during a time of individual pragmatism, self-reliance, laissez faire, and national (or sectional or ethnic) chauvinism. Heroes grow up as increasingly protected post-awakening children, come of age as the heroic young team-workers of a historical crisis, demonstrate hubris as energetic mid-lifers, and emerge as powerful elders attacked by another awakening. By virtue of this location in history, such generations tend to be remembered for their collective coming-of-age triumphs and their hubristic elder achievements. Their principle endowments are often in the domain of community, affluence, and technology. SILENT GENERATION (ARTIST, BORN 1925-1942) The Silent Generation grew up as the seen-but-not-heard ‘Lil Rascals of the Great Depression and the Shirley Temples of World War II. They were the least immigrant generation in American history. They came of age just too late to be war heroes and just too early to be youthful free spirits. Instead, they became, like John Dean, ‘Rebels Without a Cause,’ part of a ‘lonely crowd’ of risk-averse technicians in an era in which conformity seemed to be a sure ticket to success. A vast new gap emerged between women’s and men’s education as this generation became the youngest mothers and fathers in American history. Come the 1960s, the Silents stopped taking their cues from up the age ladder, and instead started looking at their Baby Boomer juniors. They became the leading civil rights activists, rock ‘n rollers, antiwar leaders, feminists, public interest lawyers, and mentors for young firebrands. Key Events Four Freedoms World War I, Prohibition Scopes Trial, Crash of 1929, New Deal, Pearl Harbor, D-Day from past to present Key Events Anti-Communism and McCarthyism: 1947-54, The Affluent Society, Little Rock Central High School:1957
  11. 11. THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH 11 They were America’s moms and dads during the divorce epidemic. Their political agenda was marked by a push toward institutional complexity and vast expansion in legal processes. Having benefited from the collective upward mobility of the G.I. economic machine and institutional safety nets like defined-benefit pensions, they are spending elderhood with a hip style, generous benefits, and higher living standards relative to the young than any prior generation. GENERATIONAL ARCHETYPE: ARTIST Artists are born during a great war or other historical crisis, a time when great worldly perils boil off the complexity of life and public consensus, aggressive institutions, and personal sacrifice prevail. Artists grow up overprotected by adults preoccupied with the crisis, come of age as the sensitive young adults of a post-crisis world, break free as indecisive midlife leaders during a spiritual awakening, and age into empathic post-awakening elders. By virtue of this location in history, such generations tend to be remembered for their quiet years of rising adulthood and their midlife years of flexible, consensus-building leadership. Their principle endowments are often in the domain of pluralism, expertise, and due process. BABY BOOMER (PROPHET, BORN 1943 – 1960) The Boomer Generation grew up as indulged youth during the post-World War II era of community-spirited progress. Parents, educators, and leaders were determined to raise young people who would never follow a Hitler, Stalin, or Orwellian Big Brother. Coming of age, they loudly proclaimed their contempt for the secular blueprints of their parents. They scorned institutions, civic participation, and team-playing while pushing towards inner-life, self-perfection, and personal meaning. Crime rates, substance abuse, and sexual risk-taking all surged, while academic achievement and SAT scores started to fall. In the 1970s, Boomer women began challenging the ‘glass ceiling’ in the workplace. Both genders designated themselves the arbiters of the nation’s values, crowding into such ‘culture’ careers as teaching, religion, journalism, law, marketing, and the arts. During the 1980s, they were the ‘Yuppie’ individualists in an era of deregulation, tax cuts, and entrepreneurial business. As family heads, Boomers have developed very close individual relationships with their children, to the point of hovering. From first-to-last cohort, they have been a generation of declining economic prosperity, on average. Millions of Boomers are now being forced to put their retirement on hold in an ‘age of austerity’ that none of them ever prepared for. GENERATIONAL ARCHETYPE: PROPHET Prophets are born after a great war or other crisis, during a time of rejuvenated community life and consensus around a new societal order. Prophets grow up as the increasingly indulged children of this post-crisis era, come of age as narcissistic young crusaders of a spiritual awakening, cultivate principle as moralistic mid-lifers, and emerge as wise elders guiding another historical crisis. GENERATION X (NOMAD, BORN 1961 – 1981) Generation X grew up in an era when the welfare of children was not a top social priority. They learned at an early age to distrust institutions and witnessed a shift to a more explicit pop culture. Their school achievement leveled out, yet The Nation At Risk report accused them of from past to present defining a generation Key Events: First Gulf War, Alaskan Oil Spill, No Child Left Behind, Housing bubble burst Key Events: Kent State, Woodstock, Watergate, Tax Revolt, DotCom crash
  12. 12. THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH 12 being “a rising tide of mediocrity.” Come the 1980s, their new cultural statements—hip-hop, grunge, heavy metal, alt-rock—revealed a hardened edge. In the late 1980s, the crime rate surged. As young adults navigating a sexual battle scape of AIDS and blighted courtship rituals, Xers dated cautiously and married late. Many of them have begun to reconstruct the institutional strength of family that they missed in their own childhood. In jobs, they embrace risk and prefer free agency over loyal corporatism. Through the ‘90s, they faced an economy of declining young-adult living standards, to which they responded to by becoming the greatest entrepreneurial generation in U.S. history. They have also emerged as the most immigrant generation born in the 20th century. Politically, they lean toward non-affiliation and tend to see volunteering as more effective than voting. GENERATIONAL ARCHETYPE: NOMAD Nomads are born during a spiritual awakening, a time of social ideals and spiritual agendas when youth-fired attacks break out against the established institutional order. MILLENNIAL (HERO, BORN 1982 – 2004) The Millennial Generation arrived when abortion and divorce rates ebbed—stigmatizing hands- off parenting styles and recasting babies as special. Child abuse and child safety became hot topics through the 1980s. By the mid-‘90s, politicians were defining adult issues (from tax cuts to internet access) in terms of their effects on children. The ‘Goals 2000’ movement demanded improved student behavior and achievement from the high school Class of 2000. Educators spoke of standards, cooperative learning, and No Child Left Behind. Millennials have become a generation of improving trends, with consistent decreases in high-risk behaviors. As they graduate into the workplace, record numbers are gravitating toward large institutions and government agencies, seeking teamwork, protection against risk, and solid work- life balance. The youth culture is becoming less edgy, with a new focus on upbeat messages and big brands, and more conventional, with a resurgence of ‘oldies’ and ‘remakes.’ Their close relationships with their parents and family members are carrying over into their young adult lives. HOMELAND (ARTIST, BORN 2005 ~ ) The Homeland Generation is currently being raised under the always-on-guard nurturing style of Gen-X parents, legislators, and media producers. Already gaining a reputation for extreme sheltering, Xer stay-at-home dads and ‘security moms’ will not want to see their own children relive the Dazed and Confused childhood they recall from the 1960s and ‘70s. The protective rules initiated for Millennials will become customary, no longer controversial. Homelanders will receive ‘total situation’ childcare, surveilled by digital-mobile technology, emotionally screened by psychological software, and guarded from inappropriate media through entertainment controls. The adult world will turn its attention to larger public problems as structured methods and institutions point out the ‘easy way’ to raise kids and keep them safe. Key Events: 9/11 Terror Attacks, Election of first black president, Affordable Care Act Key Events: TBD from past to present defining a generation
  13. 13. THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH 13 Historicalinfluencesoneducation A few keys elements that influence the education system emerged from the analysis of events over time and the shifts that occurred in education as a result of generational pressure. Each element is a kind of model and mindset that reflects the desires, aspirations, and personal goals expressed by a generation. These elements do not appear in the same form as each generations’ values and perspectives shape that particular manifestation, making it challenging for decision-makers to extrapolate the system impact. However, if decision-makers understand the model as-is, any kind of redefinition within the system will cause a change that provides direction for strategic foresight and planning. FINANCIAL BACKING Power and money are very often linked, and those that provide financial backing for an endeavor typically want to have a say in where and how that money is spent. In education that means that agendas for what to teach and how to teach it are pushed and emphasized by whomever is supplying the funds. Stakeholders and end-users are not always the financial backers and have limited say in what ultimately directly affects them. Any changes in funding support or structure are often followed by changes in the educational institution. A decision-maker should be aware of their funding model, and possible shifts that would affect planning. PUBLIC VS. PRIVATE Since primary and later secondary education became compulsory in the first part of the 20th century it has been publicly funded. This is significant as the public feels it should have a say in what is the best for the system to operate. However, School Boards are not always elected official, ultimately removing the say of the constituency. When privately funded, there are no required testing standards which make it difficult to compare student results. New blended models of funding are emerging as some communities operate using vouchers, open charter schools, and even personally funded homeschooling methods. HUMAN RESOURCES There is a direct connection between a countries economic model and educational content. Industrial economies focus on teaching and training manufactures. As the US economy competes with China for top talent, there is heavier emphasis on STEM education. Yet the challenge in economic drive education is that altering educational models to meet workforce demand is a retroactive response. This creates a latency cycle of what is needed is not taught until it is too late. There is then a resulting overcompensation (and therefore workforce pool) in the coming- of-age generation. Truly successful education must respond to employers needs even before the need is evident. Producer to Consumer In the manufacturing era of the early and mid 20th century, the economy was based on producing goods­—therefore education was based on hand skills and trade labors or ‘blue collar’ jobs. In the later 20th century and beginning of the 21st century, the economy is based on consuming services—education is therefore based in teaching ‘white collar’ skills and leveraging technology. from past to present
  14. 14. THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH 14 SKILL-BUILDING PEDAGOGY Effective education is based on two things­—how students learn, and how the educators teach. This is affected by new understandings of the brain, socialization, technologies used, political dynamics, generational styles, etc. There are so many variables in the method of knowledge transfer that little exists in the way a cycle or pattern repeats across the history of education. Decision-makers need to realize what is working, what is not working, what is a result of tradition, what are fad or pop methodologies, and what is developing and use information to constantly evaluate and revise their approach for educating students. ASSIGNING RESPONSIBILITY A historical part of the education system is who is responsible for raising and teaching the next generation, as well as the role the student takes in their own education. Each of these is heavily influenced by social factors and is up to decision-makers to see what current social norms are, how they are changing, and what they mean for education. This is not a judgment of good or bad, but over time it directly impacts the entire system. One particularly powerful element is the definition of family. The changing family model from the G.I. Generation to the Gen X generation directly relates to the education system. ACHIEVEMENT AND STATUS A consistent debate across generations is how to measure student success and more importantly what defines success. Measuring success has typically come in the form of some kind standardized test for baseline standards students are expected to achieve. Of course issues arise such as: “Are the right things being measured,” “Do teachers then educate for testing results over learning,” and “What are the consequences if achievement scores aren’t met?” A decision- maker can easily fall into the trap of solving one problem simply for another to appear. Over generations, the value of education has increased as a way to stay professionally Teacher as Parent There seems to always be a constant debate regarding the level at which a teacher is supposed to be involved in ‘raising’ students. Some teachers feel they spend more time tackling home issues than actually teaching. Parents expect teachers to instill values like respect and discipline. Similarly, the overprotective Gen X parent is uncomfortable with hearing their child is any less than perfect, leaving the teacher’s hands tied in working with under-performing but capable students. from past to present LEARNING MODELS Master-Apprentice As part of the industrial era, this was a learning through doing and emphasized trade skills and craftsmanship. Mass Customization Advent of technological options and improving neuroscience has led to a wave of alternative systems that work for any learning style. Education for All Public education prevailed as the primary education system with the ideal that everyone should be taught the same information. generational influence on education LATENCY IN EMPLOYER-DRIVEN EDUCATION Employer Need Employers find that job contenders do not have necessary skills to fill positions and apply demand pressure on institutional system. Mature Workforce Job candidates are now hyper-specialized creating a new gap between employer need and available workforce skillset. Teach to Fulfill Need Institutions feel pressure and overreact by developing new program content and focusing entirely on new skills.
  15. 15. THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH 15 competitive. Our current social dynamics define success according to career trajectory, which circles back to workforce demand and skills training as well as current assignment of responsibility. The decision-makers job is to look at what the current generation is asking for based on their past, and how that translates into the future generations’ definitions of achievement and status. INNOVATION ADOPTION History has shown that there will always be new methods and new technology that cause changes in the classroom. From the discovery of multiple learning styles to virtual classrooms, education of today is still evolving and reshaping itself. However, the generation that is in the role of teacher is often the least equipped to adopt such changes, while the student generation is often early adopters and ahead of the curve. This creates an obvious tension of the teacher who is positioned as the expert is in fact not the expert. The challenge for leaders is to balance the integration of new activities while supporting those who will be executing the activity. from past to present GENERATIONAL ROLE IN EDUCATION Operator Baby Boomers are currently the ones running institutions but are the least comfortable with emerging technology and see expenditures on such gadgets and gizmos as frivolous. Student Millennials are frustrated by an institutional system that has perpetuated a mindless-selfishness and are demanding new content that teaches community problem solving. Teacher Generation X has been comfortable working with the technology that current students use, but are used to doing things themselves and get frustrated by bureaucratic systems. LEARNING INTELLIGENCES [4] Visual: Uses visual objects such as graphs, charts, pictures, and seeing information. Can read body language well and has a good perception of aesthetics. Able to memorize and recall various information. Tends to remember things that are written down. Learns better in lectures by watching them. Auditory: Retains information through hearing and speaking. Often prefers to be told how to do things and then summarizes the main points out loud to help with memorization. Notices different aspects of speaking. Often has talents in music and may concentrate better with soft music playing in the background. Kinesthetic: Likes to use the hands-on approach to learn new material. Is generally good in math and science. Would rather demonstrate how to do something rather than verbally explain it. Usually prefers group work more than others. generational influence on education WORK-LIFE Silent Generation Worked in a time where everything came through hard work and long term ‘lifer’ stable job positions. 1950s Baby Boomers Felt there was little professional limitations and bounced from job to job until they found their passion or ideal. 1970s Generation X Takes responsibility for their own future and believe in paying their dues as long as it will progress their career. 1990s
  16. 16. Macro forces 7 FORCES reshaping the socio-economic landscape People tend to quip, “the only things sure in life are death and taxes,” when preparing for the future and what may or may not come to pass. The point is that very little in the future is guaranteed, and the challenge is to understand current assumptions of what will be but could just as easily never occur due to unforeseen events. Other assumption to understand believe in continuation of the as is, until a catalyst causes a change in course. Disruptions cause a chain reaction for which the consequences are yet to be determined. A systemic shift may not be apparent at first, but watching for the right signals will herald the coming change. Such system disruptions are neither good nor bad, it more about the change caused to the way things currently work. The better a decision-maker is at seeing the system and the signals within the system, the better they will be able to plan for the future. Education prepares students for the future, so any kind of socioeconomic disruption could void or contradict development efforts. Sometimes disruptions are gradual and existing teaching methods and content are able to adapt. Other times disruptions come at a speed faster than the system is ready and students find themselves more in tune than their educators - the very people that are supposed to be the experts. Consider today’s emergence of social networks for which a whole generation of educators has never been a part of, yet that is the world their students live and operate in. The South itself is not necessarily known for its progressive nature as major disruptions that fly in the of face South tradition are not always met with open arms. There are still residents that speak of the civil war as if it were modern history, and wait for the South to rise again. The assumption is that this is unlikely to happen, but it could occur in a modern fashion and that would be a disruption. the rise of cultural integration the rise of the natural disaster the rise transformative branding the rise of the cyborg the decline of personal privacy the rise of the collective the decline of democracy
  17. 17. THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH 17 Theriseofculturalintegration Immigration levels are the highest they have ever been in the US. Immigrants bring strong ties to their cultural heritage, molding their new setting to reflect their previous place of residents. [5] They introduce others to their beliefs, ideals, and traditions. One consequence of the heightened levels of immigration mean institutional systems are having to accommodate a wider range of cultures. However, not all heritage remains and some immigrants work to fully integrate as Americans, forgoing their ethnic identity to become mainstream. Such a conflict in identity suffers additional pressure as the US finds its own comfort with its identity as a cultural melting pot. WHAT THIS MEANS FOR THE SOUTH • More and more cultural differences in students could cause a change in how classrooms are set up and the topics taught in schools. Teaching more inclusion and accommodating backgrounds become teaching points. • The backlash of more diversity could be a movement of clinging to southern heritage and rejecting change and outsiders. In an extreme case this could lead to a possible secession giving life to the phrase; “the South will rise again!” There tends to be an undercurrent of people stuck to traditional ways in the south, it is somewhat ingrained in the culture. It will be interesting to see how southerners evolve as the makeup of the south evolves over time. • Cost of living could spike as people continue to migrate to the South. • Immigration may raise the unemployment rates, steadily increasing poverty and causing officials to clamp down on immigration laws. • As children grow up around many types of culture, racism eventually dies out. • This could make future generations more inclined to travel and experience life beyond the South. Family Ties Ancestral roots are the latest hot topic, with people of all ages searching for the connection to their background, identifying family crests, place of origin, and lineage. New services that help is this endeavor are rising up such as the popular However, not all that is found is inspiring or legitimizing, as what the previous generation hid is being unearthed by the next. macro forces Anti-immigration Arizona Immigration Law 2010 Anti-immigration rejection in Texas Ethnic Media Telemundo Television Network Ebony Magazine Online Language Learning Babbel Fish Redefined American Dream Reportation for manufacturing jobs Naturalized citizenships Dual-language Immersion Students alternate between languages in classrooms Decentralized Ethnicities ‘Biracial Beauty’ Nomadic youth SIGNALS
  18. 18. THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH 18 Theriseofthenaturaldisaster Climate change is a topic that will continue to be discussed as conditions worsen in the future. We are seeing the effects of years of environmental abuse which includes mass pollution, oil drilling, and shoreline fracking which changes the Earth’s ecosystem creating a ripple effect of consequences. Temperatures continue to violently rise and fall, glaciers continue to melt causing sea levels to rise on the shorelines of the South. Fortunately, these changes have caught wind in the media, ultimately increasing awareness around our planet’s environmental health. WHAT THIS MEANS FOR THE SOUTH • Total destruction from major weather events could offer an opportunity to rebuild communities in a better way (including new schools). • Destruction could lead to psychological and social despair because of loss of property; long-term homelessness could also arise. • Rising sea levels could change the nature of much of the South’s shoreline; this could push people further inland and vastly influence the tourism appeal of the south. • Political representatives could create more resilient disaster relief plans, or they could hesitate to help the South because they know the South is doomed. The effects of Hurricane Katrina The effects of Hurricane Katrina were long last- ing with property damage estimated around 81 billion, rebuilding was a long process. Over one million people were redistributed to other cities in some places nearly doubling the normal pop- ulation. The total wipe out gave the city of New Orleans a chance to develop a newly configured school system which is yet to demonstrate its success or failure. macro forces Destructive Hurricanes Hurricane Katrina 2005 Hurricane Sandy 2012 Corporate Pollution Fines Chinese fine corporations for emissions beyond the legal limit Southern Tornado Outbreaks Super outbreak, 2011 Super Tuesday, 2008 Climate Action Plan 2013 Proposed reduction in CO2 emissions, increase climate study Natural Gas Fracking Rise of Texas fracking Potential areas in AL, MS Environmental Awareness Peak Programs World Wildlife Fund SIGNALS
  19. 19. THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH 19 TheRISEOFtransformativebranding Powerful branding can bring attention to something not previously noticed before. The act of branding when done right, has transformed our thoughts about products and organizations, from the way people view the modern South, to the way people view political parties. With the rise of social media, consumers are more a part of branding than ever before as it is not just about products anymore, it’s about an experience, a feeling in which people engage in. WHAT THIS MEANS FOR THE SOUTH • Political parties can use the power of branding to restructure their viewpoints to be more relevant to future generations. Could the Republicans launch a brand overhaul that relates to the Nation’s young voters? • Branding is a big part of secondary education; if this type of identity moves into primary education it could have an influence on how schools attract students and funding. • Creating new meaning through branding could become a strategy for the South to attract more people. The Modern Southern Woman Belk, a southern department store, rebranded in 2010 for the first time in 43 years. The new slogan, “Modern. Southern. Style” codifies an intangible essence that is being used to speak to a younger breed of southern sophistication and promote this image to a wider audience. macro forces The Modern South Belk brand Souther Proper brand BRANDED CITIES Charlotte, NC Known as the Queen City Austin, TX “Keep Austin Weird” Detroit, MI Formerly Auto-central Chattanooga, TN A ‘connected’ Southern city The Branded Politician Obama campaign of 2008 Tea Party movement Transmedia Messaging Using different types of layered media to tell a story SIGNALS
  20. 20. THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH 20 Theriseofthecyborg As technology continues to merge with our everyday lives, the image of the always-on mobile device will eventually evolve into implantable sensors and hard drives inside of our brains. The rise of the cyborg spans topics ranging from telecommunications, integrated technology, personal data tracking, and innovations in bio-technology. This force suggests that people will question the differences between the real and the virtual until they become one. WHAT THIS MEANS FOR THE SOUTH • Digital enhancements have the ability to greatly affect students from the way they learn, to how they access information, to how they process their own thoughts. With this change, teachers will also have to adapt. • Cyborgs could not only possess knowledge improvements but also physical enhancements. There could very well be a new breed of persons: the super human; vastly knowledgeable and physically capable to do it all. • Our standards for measuring intelligence and athleticism would evolve. • This force suggests that our method of communication could be through implantable sensors within our nervous systems. Fictional Cyborgs Fictional cyborgs are portrayed as a system of organic and manufactured parts, and forces a question as to the boundaries between human and machine. The definition of a cyborg de- pends on society’s current technology and what is accepted as a machine’s job over a human. Future Cyborgs Cyborgs seem to most often be represented as a thing to be feared and external expression of humankind’s identity. Yet, it might be surprising to see how much modern society is already comfortable with technology being a part of the everyday. Dependence on smart phones and ubiquitous wifi, medical implants of synthetic joints and pacemakers, or drug-induced chem- ical balance are all steps in a direction of less human and more manufactured biotechnolog- ical systems. macro forces Mobile Devices Now apart of our daily lives, connected at the hip Responsive Environments Disney Magic Bands Funky Forest Installations The Quantified Self Fitbit, Nike Fuel Band, Coin, Simple Bank Bio-technology Embedded glucose monitoring DNA-based vaccines Augmented Reality Xbox Kinect Google Glass Big Data The internet of everything Tailored recommendation engines SIGNALS
  21. 21. THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH 21 Thedeclineofpersonalprivacy As wearable technologies become commonplace the data that is collected by them will become an issue. Where does it go and who can see it? We share details of our lives to ‘friends’ through social media, but who is really seeing all that information? These types of concerns are typical among adults today; we have changed what we share because of the Internet. Younger generations have never known a world without the Internet, sharing information to a vast audience is a way of life for them. WHAT THIS MEANS FOR THE SOUTH • A new market could emerge for data management. • Transparency in educational settings could become the norm with parents able to access all content related to their children. • Young people could become too trusting in their social networks and lose control of their privacy and content. • Privacy concerns could grow and cause a counter movement into rejecting ‘over sharing’ and networks that don’t allow enough end user control. SOPA Blackout [6] On January 18th, 2012 digital websites across the internet protested two bills (SOPA and PIPA) that were being presented in Congress. Accord- ing to SOPA“ on the surface a bill that attempts to curb online piracy. Sadly, the proposed way it goes about doing this would devastate the online economy and the overall freedom of the web. It would particularly affect sites with heavy user generated content. Sites like Youtube, Reddit, Twitter, and others may cease to exist in their current form if this bill is passed.” Macro forces RFID People Tracking School districts tracking students Foursquare - Geocaching Data Breaching Target hacked in 2013 - Largest customer data breach Social Media Privacy Laws Passed the ‘Erase Bill’ which protects minor privacy online Use of Big Data Search engine wars Unauthorized citizen monitoring (NSA) Social Media Analysis Klout, Topsy - Using analytics to improve products ‘Opting Out’ IP Terms Conditions Wars Social APIs required for login SIGNALS
  22. 22. THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH 22 Theriseofthecollective Advancements in travel created a more global citizen. Advancements in technology and the Internet have created a more connected people. With these new connections comes communication and new social groups. People with unique thoughts and interests can now find others who are the same. Along with the emergence of interest based communities there is also the power of the people. Crowd funding and social petitions rely on the masses to make things happen. WHAT THIS MEANS FOR THE SOUTH • Education could see a shift toward online learning within these interest-based communities. Specialized fields would be more accessible to students and offer them more opportunities to master the material. • As the south diversifies, more and more people will want to connect with others more like them, whether it be transplants looking for more familiarity, or locals holding onto what was. • This could also give power to those who want to hold on to a more traditional South, it gives them the power to spread their ideals and gather support. From Local to Global Interest-based networks connect people and content on the basis of share interest instead of geographic location. People near each other can find someone with a mutual need, or people nations apart can trade resources otherwise unavailable. Some networks have specific subjects like Fitocracy which is all about health tracking and motivation, while other sites like Pinterest which cover many topics. Regardless of the interest, the common thread of these communities is the act of collecting and curating. macro forces Interest-based Networks Red Hat Society Mesh Networks Community gardens Ride sharing services Social Movements Occupy Wallstreet Cradle to Cradle Upcycling Adaptive reuse Crowd Funding Indiegogo.comt Poverty Empowerment Social entrepreneurship Impact investing ( SIGNALS $
  23. 23. THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH 23 Thedeclineofdemocracy Political polarization has become the hallmark of today’s national debate. The middle has all but vanished, and the American public feels remote from the lobbying and party panhandling that is occurring on both sides of the isle. There is an emerging segment of Neo-Liberals that believe democracy must forcibly be applied to others, while grassroots uprisings have dominated recent international headlines. Every nation is being forced to redefine what it means to be a nation, addressing internal and external stakeholders. WHAT THIS MEANS FOR THE SOUTH • The South is known for being inconsistent when it comes to regional politics. There are extreme ranges of demographics including the ‘Deep-south’ poor, lower region immigrant populations, as well as the Snowbird population that resides in Florida. The South has, and will continue to struggle to represent all demographics. • Rather than focusing on helping Southern residents first, political choices are often centered around growth that is based on the tourism and shipping/port industries. This type of thinking will directly contribute to the South’s social deterioration. • When such political polarization exists, it is easier for outliers (ie: Southern Confederates) to be the voice that represents it’s People. • This type of political instability and false representation of The People leaves the South vulnerable for national experimentation. “Who is going to fight back?” If govt/corporations choose to implement new/pilot programs in the South, the repercussions on the rest of the nation would seem small if nonexistent. macro forces National Fortification Preparing against digital terrorism Fortification of US/Mexico border Political Polarization Tea Party Crumbling of the EU War as the new Black Used as an excuse to acquire natural resources Us-vs-Them Forgotten Armed Forces Influence of volunteering over doing Terrorism Backlash of Neoliberalism Culture of fear Neo-fascism Google accommodating China Sochi Olympic controversy SIGNALS Arab Spring Egypt was the first nation, in what has now been dubbed that Arab Spring, where citizens worked around existing barriers to remove the then-president from power. However, the military force that help bring about the coup has since claimed national authority, leading to what some claim is much of the same.
  24. 24. educational forces 6 forces affecting THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION Industry forces are sometimes very obvious, identified by experts, collected in industry reports, and bet on by financial advisors. These forces can also be less obvious popping up in a headline here, a blog post there, with enough little pieces that when collected together demonstrate a consistent topic that appears year over year. Spotting these industry forces is what every decision-maker must be able to do — to keep a pulse on what is happening, what is increasing in frequency, what is decreasing, how one force might affect another. Macro forces are hard to spot because they are typically further removed from a decision-maker’s current perspective. Industry forces can be equally difficult to spot because decision-makers are at too of a close range to see the bigger picture. Industry forces also have a more immediate impact leaving minimal room for proactive planning but the danger of reactive response is leaving little room for corrective changes mid- course. Education has been significantly benefited from improving cognitive science and understanding of the brain. This has led to new models of teaching as it is scientifically provable which teaching methods work and which ones do not. In the future, continued understanding of the way a student learns will further modify pedagogy in education. Further advance is technology allowing for such scientific endeavors will also remove barriers to information access creating a perpetual cycle of teaching refinement. However, as the following section shows, these almost given patterns are influenced by other topics of debate, meaning that anything assumed now has the potential to reverse and move in the opposite direction. the rise of lifelong learning the decline of edu prescriptions theincreaseinaccesstoknowledge the rise of alternative learning the decline in public funding the rise in early childhood edu
  25. 25. THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH 25 Theriseoflifelonglearning Society has progressively required more and more education for an individual to be a contributing member within any system. Industrial professionals must stay on top of the latest software packages and suites, emerging materials, and best practices. Likewise an overall emphasis on personal growth has led each generation to seek new skills that enhance their day- to-day lives. There is a push to constantly evaluate personal strengths and weakness and find ways to enhance and improve any skillset. WHAT THIS MEANS FOR THE SOUTH • Transitions to the workplace can become smoother based on education ‘tracks.’ As the South changes, smoother transitions can equal greater economic benefit. • The impact of learning on employment possibilities is a key area for poverty reduction. • For individuals in employment, improved income has been the result of continuing learning and training opportunities. This can help the South grow economically and make their workers more diverse. • An even more apparent demand for adult education is supported by research that suggests a twenty year old today can expect to make six to seven job changes over the course of a working career. Often, these vocational changes lead to additional adult learning out of necessity. educational forces Workplace Education [7] Employers are the most common providers of non-formal education and training activities, providing close to two fifths (38.3 %) of such activities. Workplace Education Company offered courses On-site training Hobby Education Demand for non-degree courses, specifically artistic courses Group Learning Open online courses Community-centered programs Professional Mobility Death of the ‘Lifer’ Increase in Life Expectancy Higher retirement ages Generational difference training Hybrid Workforce Employees going back to school to enhance their original skills SIGNALS
  26. 26. THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH 26 Theincreaseinaccesstoknowledge The explosion of technological innovation provides another platform for knowledge creation, exchange, and storage. As the speed of innovation increases, the price of certain technologies will decrease allowing for an expansion of user adoption. The internet acts as a destination for the discussion around educational transformation and the accessibility of Mobile and its devices allow us to carry these conversations wherever we go. WHAT THIS MEANS FOR THE SOUTH • The growth of access to knowledge on the web has and will continue to provide channels for users to voice their opinions and values, ultimately empowering the voice of newer groups of people in the south. • Southern users will have the opportunity to adopt older technologies as they become more affordable. • Older devices will have trouble running on smaller and sometimes outdated operating capacity which may cause southerners to create newer ways of using these devices, including creating their own types of tech, computer languages, and operating systems. • The push towards access to information from anywhere at anytime may require a reevaluation of ‘The Degree’ as credential for an educated individual. • This availability of knowledge puts pressure on traditional styles of learning which will push the boundaries in alternative schooling and educational ecosystems. educational forces Net Un-Neutrality as A Counter Event Net Neutrality is an ever evolving conversation on whether broadband carriers should be allowed to control user access to certain websites and information, and, if declared as “unneutralized” this will prevent large groups of users from accessing parts of the web simply because they wouldn’t be able to afford it. This event may also encourage other corporate powerhouses to take advantage of anything else considered ‘free’ in today’s market. Open Education MIT Open Courseware, Stanford Online, Skillshare Connected Cities Free city-wide internet in Chattanooga, Tennessee Interactive Devices Google Glass, Nike Fuel Band, Fitbit Ecosystem User Generated Content Disqus, Hyper-local Blogs, Content mixed with Commerce Education-centered Startups Public learning stations provided by Hole In The Wall Education, LTD. Net Neutrality Laws Allows for free and unrestricted access to anything on the web SIGNALS
  27. 27. THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH 27 Thedeclineinpublicfunding For better or worse, public education and thus public funding have been pulled into the Entitlement Debate. High national debt and economic in stability forces hard decisions of where to spend funding. Institutions are having to find alternative sources of funding, especially as the demands and expectations of the system increase. Families and students are now bearing more and more of the costs, as well as being forced to chose below-average education due to available financial resources. WHAT THIS MEANS FOR THE SOUTH • States’ large cuts in education spending have serious consequences for the economy, in both the short and long term. Local school districts typically have little ability to make up for lost state funding on their own. As a result, deep state funding cuts lead to job losses, slowing the economy’s recovery from the recession. • Such cuts also counteract and sometimes undermine important state education reform initiatives at a time when producing workers with high-level technical and analytical skills is increasingly important to a country’s prosperity. State education budget cuts prolonged the recession and have slowed the pace of economic recovery by reducing overall economic activity. • Special programs are also being cut as a result – including those that assist students with special needs as well as Advanced Placement courses, extracurricular activities and special academic programs for science, foreign language and technology. • Cuts to education has yielded a downward spiral effect, as hundreds of thousands of educators have lost their jobs. They also force the termination of school programs and services, which hinder education reform efforts that are often disproportionately focused on low-income communities, furthering the education and achievement gap among students of varying economic backgrounds. • The spending cuts have caused school districts to lay off teachers and other employees, reduce pay for the education workers who remain, and cancel contracts with suppliers and other businesses. These steps remove consumer demand from the economy, which in turn discourages businesses from making new investments and hiring. educational forces Private Interest in Southern Schools [8] Through Chevron’s California Partnership, “more than 20 nonprofit organizations and multiple public school districts across California have received privately-funded investments,” totaling approximately $28 million. Scholarship Cuts Loss of HOPE scholarship Dwindling endowments Debate Over ‘Entitlements’ Cuts to social welfare programs Trade skills over creative skills Corporate Interest Sponsored projects Corporate social responsibility The Overworked Teacher Student to teacher ratio Death of ‘tenure track’ professors SIGNALS Higher ‘Higher’ Education Rising costs of college tuition Rise of the Community College Funding Hybrids Voucher programs Charter Schools
  28. 28. THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH 28 Thedeclineofeducationalprescriptions The decline of educational prescriptions is a response to institutionalized ‘rules’ of the status quo in the education system. For instance, outdated standardized testing methods are being reevaluated as newer types of tests are being developed to measure the complex and dynamic behavioral patterns of the emerging creative and hybrid workforce. Not only are old classroom environments being updated to accommodate alternative teaching styles, educational institutions are also restructuring their business models as stakeholder roles are changing. WHAT THIS MEANS FOR THE SOUTH • The decline of educational perspectives could provide a much needed lift of pressure on Boomer/Millennial values of ‘structure is good.’ • This could provide a new and organic way of learning where failure is encouraged. • Puts pressure on political representatives to invest in the renovation of southern schools. • Change agents will have to ask if they must first invest in technology, environments, or curriculum overhauls, and may have to consult with specialists to move forward. • On the other hand, there is a chance political representatives could exploit the people and use poverty and racism as an excuse to gain more power. In this instance, the South will continue to deteriorate. educational forces Open Enrollment [9] At one time, open enrollment and school choice were synonymous because other forms of school choice did not exist. But numerous types of school choice programs, such as magnet schools, charter schools, and vouchers, have since sprung up across the country and expanded the definition of school choice beyond open enrollment. Exploratory Environments Steelcase + IDEO, Montessori Charter Schools New Business Models MOOCs, Charter Schools, Destination Universities New Performance Measurements ‘Running Records’ testing – not results oriented but process oriented Eco-environments Solar 4R Schools Program, The Third Teacher The Science of Learning Measuring cognitive processes Alternative learning competencies Creation of Learning Archetypes - Your Personal Canvas - Behavior Patterns SIGNALS
  29. 29. THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH 29 Theriseofalternativelearning As the American education system transitions away from the traditional factory-style classroom, it is leveraging technology as a means to discuss and experiment with newer ways of teaching and learning. The educational landscape is responding by creating alternative methods of interaction in the evolved classroom which includes creativity, collaboration, and adaptive exploration. WHAT THIS MEANS FOR THE SOUTH • As the United States transforms its educational systems for the better, the South is likely to be left with factory-style educational methods as budgets are utilized elsewhere. As a result, the South will continue to fall behind in educational ranks, ultimately deteriorating the southern educational system beyond recognition. • Depending on the economic health of the South, if families continue to migrate to southern cities, this could be the opportunity to begin providing alternative learning methods that are combined with innovation centered around affordability. educational forces Rise and Fall of Community Colleges [10] In 2009, community colleges saw the highest enrollment rates ever, much of which was attributed to the economic downturn. At the time, political leaders pointed to this one bright spot as something that benefited the country as a whole. However, as the economy has rebounded, enrollment rates have started to decline with dwindling political support for the alternative education community colleges provide. MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) Free online education Experiential Learning Learning by being immersed in the working environment The Flipped Classroom Reading and testing as home- work, critical thinking in class STEM+ Programs Science, technology, engineering, math, and creative problem solving Blended Learning Hackschooling from home, social skill-building at school Charter Schools Revitalizing access to education Adaptive Learning Environments SIGNALS
  30. 30. THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH 30 Theriseofearlychildhoodeducation The demand for early childhood care and education programs continues to increase not only in response to the growing demand for out-of-home child care but also in recognition of the critical importance of educational experiences during the early years. Several decades of research clearly demonstrate that high-quality, developmentally appropriate early childhood programs produce short and long-term positive effects on children’s cognitive and social development and has been shown to increase social skills, build self-esteem and develop cognitive skills. A child’s perception of the world is shaped during this all important stage when the brain is developing at a rapid pace. WHAT THIS MEANS FOR THE SOUTH • If the South fails to make the investment and pay the price: increased delinquency, greater educational failures, lowered productivity, less economic competitiveness, and fewer adults prepared to be effective, loving parents to the next generation of children. • The benefits could be lower unemployment and better earnings, lower rates of crime, and less dependency on welfare. • Researchers estimate that it could initially cost up to $19 billion a year nationally just to provide low-income 3- and 4-year-old children with such a program. However, the benefits of such an investment would only increase over time. The annual benefits of a universal program would total about $779 billion by the year 2050—exceeding the costs of the program in that year by a ratio of 8.2-to-1 [12] . In addition, the Brookings Institution projects that universal preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds nationwide would increase the gross national product by $2 trillion in 2080.This lets us directly see the link between early childhood education and economic output. Benefits will outweigh costs in the future. • Becoming an early childhood educator means you have to know how to properly recognize and nurture those talents. “This is the South’s challenge and its moment of truth: Do we sustain the one area of public education needed by little children that is successful? Or shall we take steps to reduce or eliminate the best way we have to help little children become ready for success in education for years to come?” [12] educational forces Next-gen Kindercation Discretionary early-start budgeting Increasing use of paternity leave New Toy Design Baby Einstein Leap Frog Congressional Spending Taxing commodities to pay for early childhood education Intended Consequences Academia studying outcomes Social advertising campaigns SIGNALS Early Practice Makes Perfect [11] Timing, quality ,and quantity of talking with children are crucial to the development of language and cognitive abilities. In a recent study, some mothers spoke thousands of words a day to their children, while others spoke only 600 words to her infant over a 10-hour day. When participants were studied (at age 40), the people who received more words when they were younger scored higher on achievement tests, attained higher levels of education, required less special education, earned higher wages, had better physical health, were more likely to own a home, and were less likely to go on welfare or be incarcerated than other children from similar backgrounds.
  31. 31. FUTURE SCENARIOS THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH As it has yet to be, the future is open to interpretation. Depending on how the now is extrapolated, alternative futures emerge, illustrating one of many potential outcomes. This extrapolation for alternative futures is what creates the scenario. A scenario does not provide answers to questions a decision-maker is faced with, but with identified signposts, triggers, and applied forces, it presents a set of informed possibilities for discussion. Formation of answers to questions of the future is what Futurists refer to as a ‘strategic conversation.’ Scenarios force decision-makers to face the assumptions they operate on and how those assumptions could be disrupted and change. Stories provide a relatable and digestible way for everyone to enter into and be a part of the strategic conversation. For this report, two axises were used to create four future worlds. The first axis was the rise and fall of the success of the South, while the second was the rise and fall of quality education. The result is a high-high, high-low, low-high, and low-low that sometimes directly, and other times indirectly speak to the future of the South and education. This does not mean that each ending is utopic or dystopic, rather, the turn of events result in the high or low set for the world. Even in a post-apocalyptic world the South rises again and be a leader in educating its constituents. When reading the following stories, the first thing to do is clear away assumptions and open up to the possibilities presented. A good scenario and story will to some degree seem plausible, it will indeed challenge the very underpinnings of the present, but it will still feel relevant to stakeholders and provide a window into one of the possible tomorrows. The scenarios in the report do not follow the typical cause-and- effect chain of events, but feel like more like well-developed stories. These stories are a creative expression of the future, much like the science fiction that inspired the authors, and is meant to grab the reader’s attention and draw them into a world they can see as their own. SUCCESS OF THE SOUTH Low High QUALITYOFEDUCATION SCENARIO ONE Spring in The Savvy South SCENARIO THREE The Brawn of The Brain SCENARIO TWO Global Guerrilla Peace Mission SCENARIO FOUR (Re)gress as One LowHigh
  32. 32. THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH 32 FUTURE SCENARIOS Scenario one SPRING IN THE SAVVY SOUTH This scenario is set in a world in which the South is highly successful financially, but has low requirements for education. We see a South in which a non-bureaucratic partnership between technology and agriculture drives independent success. It is this entrepreneurial spirit that encourages the now fragmented educational system to be structured as a plethora of do-it- yourself options. With the aid of wearable devices that provide user-relevant knowledge and on-the-spot access, we are taken through a day-in-the-life of teenagers, Silas and Mariana, as they rely on these ‘information nets’ to make important decisions. 1-10 YEARS: THE DESIRABLE SOUTH • Increase in migration to the South • Increase in cost of living • Increase private schools 10-20 YEARS: THE NEW REPUBLICAN • Increase in entrepreneurial mentality • Increase in lucrative agriculture • Decrease in political divide • Increase in skill-based learning 20-30 YEARS: THE BESPOKE CHICKEN • Decrease in the traditional Diploma • Increase in the family fortune/the Dynasty is back • Increase in health awareness • Increase in Southern pride 30-50 YEARS: THE SAVVY SOUTH • Increase in the laboratory farm/food science • Increase in optional education/increase in apprenticeship • Decrease in Southern history • Decrease in doctors/increase in self medication SCENARIO TIMELINE
  33. 33. THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH 33 FUTURE SCENARIOS spring in the savvy south Silas Dresser looked at Cobb County and saw radiance. He saw the glorious and unnatural luminosity coming from the digital banner that wrapped like a ribbon around the Church of Global Humanity, shamelessly streaming excerpts from the CGH doctrine such as “The world was created for you today.” Followed by “You are an insignificant speck of dust in a giant universe.” He saw his family’s U-shaped compound where the entire Dresser Dynasty had been living and working since 2020 when his grandfather, a then struggling farmer named Randy Sherman Dresser rented out his land to a group of techie entrepreneur’s from the MIT Media Lab. A kinship quickly formed between the two seemingly different worlds, centered on the drive to work hard. His grandfather used to say he felt like an energetic piece of popcorn popping around all day long. This dynamic friendship between the Northern techies and the lone Southern farmer was a fruitful one indeed. “The dynamic friendship between the Northern techies and the lone Southern farmer was a fruitful one indeed.” It began small with Dresser renting out his property so they could conduct experiments in the shed. Soon they were hosting meet-up groups, and Dresser started to get involved with the tinkering. Even though he only had a high school diploma, he was able to learn from these guys how to make new contraptions. One time they disassembled a broken power tiller and turned it into a robotic cultivator that could identify which areas of the soil needed the most nutrients and aeration. Experiments like this began to turn into legitimate innovations in the field of agriculture, thus the Dresser Dynasty was born and they have been spearheading the Innovative Agriculture scene ever since, which was why Silas was enjoying such an incredible birds eye view of Cobb County in the first place. He was standing on the roof of an abandoned high school that his dad, Mac Dresser, just purchased. Dresser Dynasty Farms was going to convert the last public school in South Carolina into one of the biggest family-owned food science and grow labs in the country. “Dresser Dynasty Farms was going to convert the last public school in South Carolina into one of the biggest family-owned food science grow labs in the country.” Silas had never stepped foot in a school building until today. “I bet you would have been a nerd on the math team,” Silas jokingly says to Mariana, his friend that was sent with him today to begin construction on the micro-green vertical farm. “Whatever, you don’t even know what a math team is. I saw you Holo when we were in one of those creepy rooms with all those desks earlier,” Quips Mariana. She was right, Silas had never thought about what this building was used for until today. It was always just a big bulky deteriorating eyesore down the street from his house. “Well according to Holo, your genetic makeup classifies you as part of the group that was known as ‘nerds, dorks, and bookworms.’ See.” He taps the metallic dot on his wrist and
  34. 34. THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH 34 FUTURE SCENARIOS spring in the savvy south an interactive info-graphic appears in 3D on the ground in front of them titled, “The old days: Life in High school “ Silas gestures with his hand to put Mariana’s avatar into the ‘What high school group are you?’ quiz and within seconds a profile of her appears that supports his nerd comment. “Ugh! Is that what I would have looked like?!” Mariana exclaims. “Thank goodness for OE!” OE was the Optional Education program that Mariana and Silas grew up with. There was no standardized educational institution or program that they had to follow, instead they got information on a need-to-know basis from Holo, a semi-implanted device that collected and curated information relevant to where they were and what they were doing, allowing them to focus on helping their families’ successful businesses instead of learning things that weren’t relevant. Mariana’s grandfather, Miguel Ruiz, began as a laborer for Silas’s grandfather’s farm. Like Randy Dresser, Miguel got involved in the innovative agriculture experiments and taught himself how to program and run tech operations for the new equipment. He went on to begin his own specialty farm making bespoke chickens using an innovative breeding and feeding system that flavored each chicken to reflect the county of its origin. Mariana’s father took over in 2040, and now Mariana, at the age of 17, helps run logistics for the Bespoke Chicken Franchise, which teaches the global community how to open and operate specialty poultry farms. Silas’s family, however, focuses on gourmet micro greens, exotic fish farming and medical marijuana. “Alright, I guess we should go down and look at the space before the build crew arrives.” Silas says to Mariana. “Yeah, it looks like they are 20 minutes away.” Mariana replies looking at her Holo window that is showing a map of the Meko Corp Van en route. Their task today is to begin the construction of the micro-green vertical farm in one section of the school. Other parts of the school are planned for fishery farms, labs, and controlled medical marijuana crop production. While it may seem like a big responsibility for a couple of 17 year olds, Silas isn’t worried because Holo has planned the entire project for him. All he had to do was enter what they were going to make, when they wanted it to be finished, and what section of the school they would be using for construction. Holo pulled together the rest, and even arranged the logistics with the Meko Corp build crew. All Mariana and Silas had to do was queue up the project on Holo and follow instructions. They headed down from the rooftop and found the auditorium where the micro-green farm would be built. “It’s so dusty in here.” Coughs Mariana “It is. My OnlyHealth alert just signaled that my nasal zone was experiencing a higher level of potentially toxic matter than usual.” Silas replies “I’ll put in an order for us to get some clear spray once we are out of here.” “Good call.” Says Mariana “After we pick it up from Pharm Machine, lets sit in the park and stream a movie. I just upgraded my Holo to project movies the size of a real theater screen. “Can’t wait!” says Silas. He then feels a buzz on his wrist, indicating the build crew had arrived. “Here they come.” Silas says, “This should be interesting.” Within minutes the clean up crew appears in the auditorium. They are kids from the MEKO Corp Early Start program. The youngest one looks to be around 12 years old and the oldest seems closer to Silas and Mariana’s age. Silas notices FF on their work crew suits which stands for “Future Foreman” indicating this group is on the track to run and operate one of MEKO Corps manufacturing plants. Their education is structured like the traditional schools of the past. Even though curriculum specialized to fit the needs of MEKO Corp, they have to learn everything about everything first in order to see where they excel. Once they are take the Assessment Test at age 12, they get placed in the Early Start program that gives them in depth training for the specific part of MEKO Corp that they will be working for. Silas has only worked with a Corp kid once before, and he found them odd. They are always working and keep rigorous schedules. Corp kids aren’t allowed to have Holo’s until they
  35. 35. THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH 35 FUTURE SCENARIOS spring in the savvy south graduate to Associate Expert level at age 18. This alone is enough to set them apart from the OE kids. Silas can’t imagine how they function without it. “Welcome.” Says Silas to the Motley Crue of Corp kids. “My name is Silas Dresser and this is Sophia Mariana Ruiz. We are members of the Dresser Dynasty Farms and will be overseeing the construction of this project. We appreciate you coming to help build the first vertical micro green farm in South Carolina.” Silas tries to sound as official as possible even though he gets nervous speaking around people he doesn’t know. “I will be overseeing the construction of the vertical wall and Mariana will be focusing on the ground floor layout. Any questions so far?” Silas learned from Holo that giving people a chance to ask questions was the sign of a good leader. There was only silence from the Corp kids, so Silas kept going. “Well, then, lets get started.” He tapped the metallic dot on his wrist to cue up the construction plans and felt a sting and a shock. “Ouch.” He exclaimed, shaking his hand and blowing on his wrist. “Are you okay?” Mariana responded, grabbing his arm to see what happened. Silas thought he heard a slight snicker from the group of Corp Kids but he was too focused on the pain in his wrist to care. The metallic dot looked blackened and his heart sank as he realized what this meant. But before he could say anything, Mariana let out a squeal. “Damn! I just got shocked too!” At this point there were murmurs coming from the Corp Kids. Mariana and Silas faced the reality: they had just experienced a Hologram Blackout. They had heard rumors of this before. Back in 2052, when they were little, the first version of Holo devices had experienced a system meltdown from an energy blackout event. But since then the company that manufactures Holo’s had designed the devices so nothing like that would ever happen again. At least that is what they claimed. Silas felt dizzy. Of all the times for this to happen, he thought. He didn’t know what to do and wasn’t sure how to ask for help. “Excuse me.” Came a soft voice from the group, “What would you like us to do?” Silas turned towards Mariana looking for any kind of answer, but she had the same expression of dumbfounded-ness that he did. “Well, we, um, the Dresser Dynasty would like for you, to, um, well, I actually...I’m not sure. All of the instructions were on my Holo, and it just stopped working.” Silas stuttered through a response, wishing he had studied the construction plans more in depth. “Well, it seems this place is rather messy, perhaps we could start with clearing out the debris.” Suggested the voice from the Corp Kids. Normally Silas would have been weary of taking advice from a Corp Kid, but he actually found the suggestion relieving, and it seemed like a logical first step. “Yes, yes of course. Please do that. I will get this malfunction figured out, so please get started.” With that, Silas signaled to Mariana to meet him over at the other end of the auditorium for a private conversation. “What are we going to do?” exclaimed Silas. “Everything was on my Holo.” He couldn’t take his hand off of the blackened metallic dot on his wrist. “I know, I know, Silas, is there anything that you can remember, just to get us through the day. A Holo blackout won’t last long I am sure. The world would shut down!” Mariana tried her best to soothe him, but felt just as panicked inside. Silas tried to recall the construction plans that he had briefly glanced at a few days before. He only looked at them to make sure they were loaded on his device, and didn’t pay much attention to the details. Why would he? Holo provided everything he needed to know. Just as Silas was about to suggest to Mariana that they call the construction off, he noticed one of the Corp Kids walking over- a tall skinny guy that looked to be around his age. “Excuse me Mr. Dresser, Ms. Ruiz,” said the lanky guy “My name is Sedrick Kinstock, and I am the Corp Collectives team representative,and I think I may be able to help.” Silas and Mariana looked at each other with uncertainty. “Alright,” replied Silas, “What do you have in mind?”
  36. 36. THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH 36 FUTURE SCENARIOS spring in the savvy south “Well, we are all builders, as you know, and we have been trained to create construction plans from anything as simple as a napkin sketch and an idea. We studied the plans you sent us on the way over here, and we can help recreate them if you can like.” Sedrick suggested. Silas couldn’t imagine how they would do this without a Holo. All they carried with them were some tools, an outdated tablet device, and a truckload of building materials. “How is that possible?” asked Silas “Well, if we work together and pool all of our knowledge it shouldn’t take too long to create at least the first step of the build. I bet your Holo’s will be back working in a couple days, so we could do enough to get things started.” Replied Sedrick. Silas was under pressure from his dad to get this built on time. The unveiling was in two weeks, and if they were off schedule, then he would never hear the end of it. He knew his dad would scold him for not making a back-up copy of the construction plans, and he didn’t want to get another lecture about being a “Holo Head” Silas thought if he could show his dad what they accomplished without Holo’s, then he would never give him grief for his obsessive Holo use again. Before Silas could respond, however, Mariana chimed in, “Okay let’s do this. Silas, you know this is the better alternative than calling off the whole thing.” “Okay, Mr. Kinstock, show us the way.” And with that, Silas, Mariana and the Corp kids spent the rest of the morning reconstructing the project plan. They began with something Sedrick called ‘brainstorming’ which made Silas snicker when he first heard it because he pictured a thousand brains dressed up like soldiers charging a big castle. But this brainstorming helped him remember details he thought he didn’t know. They were able to list everything that was going to be torn down, renovated or built from scratch. Mariana and Silas were impressed by the Corp Kids style of working together. Sedrick was clearly leading the conversation, but he made sure everyone was contributing. Some of the kids were drawing plans on the surface tablet as others were describing them and taking notes. When they stopped for a break, the Corp Kids showed them the drawings from the tablet. Silas was floored. They looked even better than the ones he could remember from the Holo images. In fact, they even added some features that weren’t even in the original plan. Silas had never felt so energized in his life. “Here,” Sedrick said handing Silas a tablet and a pen, “why don’t you try sketching some things.” “I’ve never had to sketch anything before. I don’t know how to do it.” Silas responded, weary of trying something he didn’t know how to do. He was so used to following instructions on Holo, he wasn’t sure if he could do something without watching a video first. “Just give it a try, there is no right or wrong.” And with that Silas took the tablet and pen and began making shapes. He drew his vision for the micro-green bagging station, something he hadn’t thought of until they were brainstorming. “Nice!” Mariana exclaimed looking over his shoulder while he drew. “I see what you were talking about now. That would make sense to have the greens packaged like that. Brilliant!” And for the first time in his life, Silas felt like he was contributing something unique, original and from his mind, not his device. He felt radiant. He felt like the world was created for this very thing. “For the first time in his life, Silas felt like he was contributing something unique, original and from his mind, not his device.”
  37. 37. THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH 37 FUTURE SCENARIOS spring in the savvy south SIGN POSTS / WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR • A reduction of government aid to public schools due to a spike in privatized education. • A shift in school populations due to re-zoning and changing demographics. • A growth in immigration to the South due to the continuation of harsh Northern weather. • A growth in the youth becoming self-starting entrepreneurs due to access to technology, social media and school programs. • A reduction in the number of primary care physicians due to personal health monitoring devices. • A shift in farming from corporate-run operations to independently run establishments due to an increased interest in ‘locally made’ as well as a reduction in government subsidies. • A reliance on wearable devices to gather information due to advances in technology.
  38. 38. THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH 38 FUTURE SCENARIOS Scenario two GLOBAL GUERRILLA PEACE MISSION This scenario is set in a world of high education and high success. We are introduced to an experience-based method of learning in a time of political unrest, entertaining the notion that real-world experience creates better learning outcomes. Embedded technology and virtual communication are key players in the exchange of information as we follow one student’s incredible journey through the field and into the virtual classroom. 1-10 YEARS: LAPTOPS FOR ALL • Increase in available technology • Decrease in trust of government • New definition of civil-rights 10-20 YEARS: COMMUNITY REVITALIZATION • Increase in individual and community agency • Increase in the collective mindset • Decrease in the traditional classroom 20-30 YEARS: CREATE YOUR OWN CURRICULUM • Increase in community activism and leadership • Increase in personalized content • Increase in robot professors • Increase in wearable electronic devices 30-50 YEARS: HOT LABS • Increase in experiential learning • Increase in co-created education • Increase in international efforts • Increase in implant technology SCENARIO TIMELINE
  39. 39. THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH 39 FUTURE SCENARIOS Global guerrilla peace mission Samantha crouches in the jungle of the Republic of Congo and consults her professor, Professor Robot Jenkins. “Professor Jenkins, my specimen is approximately 30 ft. away. It looks as if there are two baby gorillas, hiding directly behind, what seems to be their mother. But I hear gunfire in the background. Where is that coming from? Who is firing?” “Samantha. This is professor Jenkins. You are located at the latitude 6.0792 degrees south and longitude 12.4500 degrees east. Gunfire is coming from one of the three armed groups that operate in the eastern Congo: the Rwandan Hutu FDLR; the Rwanda Uganda- backed M23; and the Mai Mai. The group currently in your zone are M23 troops. M23 is being backed by Rwanda and to a lesser extent by Uganda, with heavy weaponry, troops, and recruits. They are located 3 miles southeast of your site location. Recommendation: Camouflage yourself while troops pass. Don’t forget to take extensive notes.” Samantha is currently in the Congo taking an undergraduate course in bio-political culture at the University for Data Exchange located in mid-town Mississippi. There are 24 other students in her class studying in sacred ecological peace regions throughout globe. These regions have been identified by the U.N. as “Hot Labs” which contain the most richest, scarcest and rarest animal and plant species in the world. The concept behind an education Hot Lab, is that students will be able to learn more about the science, engineering, technology and math through real-world experiences and hands-on training. By 2050, there is so much technology in the hands of students and teachers that there is no longer a need to be in the classroom other than to share field notes and get feedback from the class. Students are in control of designing their own curriculum due to the ubiquitous nature of information on mobile devices, laptops, and tech implants. “Students will be able to learn more about the science, engineering, technology and math through real-world experiences and hands-on training.” 50 years ago, this was not the case. In 2014, students were still learning in a traditional lecture-style classroom with physical professors. The only experiments they did were conducted in science labs, and the majority of their lessons came from ebooks or bulky textbooks. They were either glued to their laptop for schoolwork or their cellphone for socializing. But that educational model is now a thing of the past. Samantha is currently in the field using her Google Electronic Peace Receivers (EPR), which allows her to receive advisable information from Professor Robot Jenkins in real-time. Google’s new EPR system is a highly advance microchip providing seamless ethnographic capabilities such as, responsive recording, automatic transcription and instant archiving into the study-share vault. No longer are bulky “things” and plastic models needed to achieve student success, because these frontal cortex electronic implants systems can look up anything according to the individual’s academic interests. At first, students like Samantha were stunned by this new technological implant, but now she cannot imagine living in a world without it. This system is advanced enough to target any living thing such as a plant, an animal, or a person and provide a complete profile breakdown-name, history, attributes, relationships, etc. The change in education, particularly in the south, began to happen in 2018 with a rise