Future Education – Overview

Post-Graduate Certificate Course in

Future Education

September 21-23, 2015, Inter-University Centre, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Education is the most remarkable technology so far invented by human beings. It is humanity’s instrument for conscious social evolution. Education abridges the time required for individual and social progress by preserving and propagating the essence of human experience. It delivers to youth the accumulated knowledge of countless past generations in an organized and abridged form, so that future generations can start off with all the capacities acquired by their predecessors.

We live in an educational time warp. There is a growing gap between contemporary human experience and what is taught in our educational system. It takes time to digest experience, consciously interpret and organize that experience as new knowledge, equip instructors with that knowledge and pass it on to youth. Today humanity confronts challenges of unprecedented scope, magnitude and intensity. The incremental development of educational content and pedagogy in recent decades has not kept with the ever-accelerating pace of technological and social evolution. Education is also subject to a generational time warp resulting from the fact that many of today’s teachers were educated decades ago during very different times and based on different values and perspectives. This challenge of preparing youth for the future is exasperated by the fact that the future for which we are educating youth does not yet exist and to a large extent is unknown or unknowable. The resulting gap between the content of education and societal needs inhibits our capacity to anticipate and effectively respond to social problems.

Education is part of the problem. As it is widely practiced around the world today, it still largely functions according to a model of pedagogy that predates the invention of the printing press and relies on a delivery system that predates the telegraph, telephone, motion pictures, radio, television and the Internet. It still emphasizes memorization of fact at a time when the ordinary smart phone provides instantaneous access to more information than any individual has ever committed to memory. It still fosters passive submission and obedience to authority at a time when the world needs individuals with the self-reliance, initiative and problem solving capabilities to fashion new solutions rather than merely regurgitate old ones. It still emphasizes getting the ‘right’ answers to questions based on prevailing theories when developing the capacity to ask the right questions may be of far greater adaptive value. It prepares youth for increasingly scarce salaried jobs rather than imparting the capacity to create new jobs through self-employment and entrepreneurship. It still fosters a highly competitive, individualistic mode of learning in a network society where cooperation and teamwork are the principal mode of work. It still fosters highly specialized, compartmentalized knowledge within narrow disciplinary fields at a time when the most serious problems issue from complex interactions between different fields of activity.
Education is our best hope for a better future. Emergence of a new paradigm in education can radically abridge the time required for humanity to address critical issues related to economy, governance, ecology and life-style. Education is the best known instrument for ensuring universal human rights, promoting democracy, enhancing productivity and protecting the environment. It is also the most effective means for fostering the capabilities of openness, adaptability, independent thinking, creativity, innovation, leadership and individuality so desperately needed to enlighten our economic, political, intellectual and cultural behavior.

There is urgent need to evolve a new paradigm in education appropriate to the needs of the 21st century. Closing the gap between social needs and educational capabilities is essential for addressing pressing challenges confronting humanity today. A review of education today makes evident that there is enormous scope for improving and developing the educational system. Whatever its current limitations in terms of inadequate coverage, quality and content, the means and potential exist for dramatically enhancing humanity’s individual and collective performance in virtually all spheres of our social existence by realistic, achievable improvements in education. We need a new paradigm in education capable of more fully and effectively developing the latent capacities of our youth.

The objective of the Dubrovnik meeting was to examine key issues that need to be addressed in order to evolve a more effective form of future-oriented higher education. The outcomes of this meeting will be used to design a new post-graduate level course on Future Education.

Lecture Schedule | Course Directors & Faculty


Purpose of Education 
a What is education?
b What are the main social objectives education serves in society today?
c What are the main learning objectives of education today?
d How effectively is education serving these objectives?
e In what ways and to what degree is the present system of education linked to the present problems in society?
f What critical needs are not being effectively met by the current system?
g What likely impact will the evolution of society have on our educational needs in 2025?
h What fundamental changes are needed in education to fully respond to current and future needs?
Education and the Future 
a What should be the relationship between education and the future?
b How can we best prepare youth for participation in a future that is unknown or unknowable?
c What is the temporality of education – its rhythms, temporal relations, circuits and habits?
d What pedagogic practices can be used that enable opening up the possibilities of the present?
Process of Learning and Education 
a What are the goals of learning?
b What is the process of learning?
c What is the relationship between learning and knowledge?
d What role does education play in the learning process?
e How effective is education in promoting learning objectives?
f What role can active learning play in enhancing the effectiveness of education?
g How can education shift focus from teaching to active learning?
h What would be the means and impact of shifting from a competitive to cooperative learning paradigm?
Transdisciplinary Contextual Learning 
a What is contextual learning?
b To what extent is it practised today and what is its impact?
c What are the needs, scope and justification for a wider application of contextual learning in different fields of study?
d What resources and methods can most effectively be used enhance contextual learning?
Interdisciplinary, cross-disciplinary & trans-disciplinary education 
a How can we overcome the tendency toward over-specialization and fragmentation of knowledge?
b What should be the role of different forms of multi-disciplinary approaches in the future of education?
c What distinction can be made between these three types of multi-disciplinarity and what objectives are best served by which type?
d What is the relevance of transdisciplinarity for the future development of academic disciplines in the natural and social sciences?
e What is the relevance of trans-disciplinarity for the future development of academic disciplines in the natural and social sciences? By what means can it best be implemented?
Person-Centered Learning and Development of Personality 
a What is PCL?
b What are the most effective methods for PCL?
c How is PCL similar to or distinct from learning that fosters the development of personality?
d What are the dimensions of personality that can be developed through education?
e How can education most effectively foster development of personality?
f What impact can PCL have on human relations, group dynamics and society as a whole?
The value of values in education 
a What are values and what should be their role in education?
b By what process are values most effectively communicated, understood, appreciated and acquired?
c Are Values markers of the future?
d How can the essential value of values be communicated and illustrated?
e How can values best be developed in and through education?
Education of the Mind & Its Faculties 
a What are the characteristic ways in which mind tries to know reality?
b What are the faculties of the human mind that can be developed through education?
c What mental faculties are developed by the current system of education?
d What types of mental abilities should we be striving to develop through education?
e What are the types of thinking and to what extent are they developed through the present system of education?
f How can education shift the emphasis from memorization to understanding, critical thinking and independent thinking?
g How can education develop the capacity for inclusive, holistic thinking?
h How can education develop the capacity for synthetic, integrative thinking?
i What do we mean by original thinking and genius and how can education foster their development?
Creativity, Innovation, Originality and Individuality 
a To what extent do our present curricula and method of education encourage or stifle creativity?
b What approach can be adopted to promote greater creativity and originality?
c What is the role of multi-sensory learning in promoting creativity and innovation?
d What is individuality and how can it be fostered through education?
Education for Leadership in the 21st Century 
a How can qualities of leadership, innovation, entrepreneurship be fostered?
b How can we educate transformational leaders for the future?