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Future Higher Education – Why not NOW?

Originally published in Career Change for Academics, in May, 2014

Here’s a really interesting look at the potential for individually-tailored freedom to learn within higher education in the future.

Stanford 2025

At first, it looks like a self-serving description of how good Stanford thinks it is now, but then it switches gears and describes an experimental look at what higher education COULD be, after an imaginary “major paradigm shift that ‘happened’ around 2025.” And, it invites us to look at the imaginary future of higher education in the year 2100.

At the bottom of the page, you can choose “a future to explore,” beginning with any of the following segments, Open Loop University, Paced Education, Axis Flip, Purpose Learning, or Design A Future.

Each of the first four describes a utopian segment of an entire system that corrects so many of the parts of the system that are wrong for our current socio-economic system, with its embedded system of education, in lock step with the past.  Read it and ask, along with me, “Why not do this NOW?”

The last-mentioned segment, Design a Future, gives you the chance to do just that. You have three sections to begin forming your own ideas: first, for reflection; second, for imagining; and third, for trying out activities and suggestions to get started.

Try it – it’s a wonderful opportunity to loosen our unthinking adherence to the cultural patterns that tend to trap us with in-the-box thinking – by simply asking “WHY?” and “Why NOT?”

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