The transformation of education to adapt in a globalizing marketplace with advancing technology is a pressing concern for educators and policymakers in order to help students learn, fully develop and prepare students for life after graduation. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 65% of today’s grade school students will end up employed in jobs that have yet to be discovered. This signifies a shift in demand for competencies and expertise, where jobs are now utilizing skills such as non-routine interpersonal and non-routine analytic skills, compared to previous decades that were more focused on routine cognitive and routine manual skills (David & Price, 2013). Additionally, the kind of things that were once easy to teach are now easy to automate, digitize or outsource, creating the need to rethink the role of teachers in education.
As the role of teachers change, the question before educators and policymakers is how schools can adopt to the changing demand of skills, and the digital revolution. This is further compounded by shifts in the economy, where the digital economy is now becoming the main economy, and schools will now be confronted with challenges and opportunities as they adopt to help students learn, including the organization of schools itself. While education today is mostly about the system, content, and mastery; education in the future will be about the learner, process, and skills. For example, Knowledge Forecast 3.0 predicts that “schools” will take many forms, and even may be self-organized. With the individual student, the learner and their families will create individualized learning playlists, reflecting their particular interests, goals, and values. This includes a shift from individual learning to collaborative learning, and from passive to active learning. These trends are beginning to be incorporated into the curriculum in the U.S., such as project-based learning and experiential learning.