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Reinventing Elementary School for an Exponential Era

Peter Diamadis in zero gravity from: http://www.diamandis.com

Humanity will change more in the next 20 years than in the past 300 years.” We are living in an exponential era, where the rate of change is increasing – an explosion of information, communications, technology, automation, robotics, etc. This can be very disruptive to businesses, social structures and institutions (schools, churches, governments, etc.) unless they are open to change, are agile enough to adapt and continue to flourish.

Most elementary schools haven’t changed in decades, so what should kids be learning now to be successful in adult life? How should we reinvent elementary school during an exponential era?

There are lots of issues with today’s traditional elementary schools. Among them are: grading, “sage on the stage,” relevance, imagination and boredom.

Peter H. Diamandis suggests the attributes most critical for our children learning to become successful in their adult life may be: passion, curiosity, imagination, critical thinking and grit. With this in mind, Diamandis suggests twelve modules or elements to be woven together throughout the course of K-6 education: Storytelling/Communications, Passions, Curiosity & Experimentation, Persistence/Grit, Technology Exposure, Empathy, Ethics/Moral Dilemmas, The 3R Basics (Reading, wRiting & aRithmetic), Creative Expression & Improvisation, Coding, Entrepreneurship & Sales and Language.

Our children’s and grandchildren’s schools not only need to re-orient their content, but also adopt new technologies: virtual reality (VR) can make learning truly immersive; 3D printing is allowing students to bring their ideas to life; sensors & networks; machine learning is making learning adaptive and personalized; and artificial intelligence (AI).

Earlier this year Diamandis wrote a whitepaper on how he suggests we reinvent K-12 education for an exponential world. You can download the complete whitepaper here.

Dr. Peter H. Diamandis is an international pioneer in the fields of innovation, incentive competitions and commercial space. In 2014 he was named one of “The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” – by Fortune Magazine.

He is the New York Times Bestselling author of Abundance – The Future Is Better Than You Think and BOLD – How to go Big, Create Wealth & Impact the World.

He earned an undergraduate degree in Molecular Genetics and a graduate degree in Aerospace Engineering from MIT, and received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School.

Diamandis’ mission is to open the space frontier for humanity. His personal motto is: “The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself.”

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