To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
According to Bill Gates, it is “a special time in education” (The Economist, 2016). The entire world of learning and education is shaking. New insights appear almost daily. Experimental new approaches and insights are emerging rapidly and maturing at breath-taking speed.
The idea emerged to try and capture the most important developments in one volume. It soon became clear that the field of learning and education is not moving because of one or a few powerful trends. Rather, new insights and approaches come from such different worlds as educational science, information technology (IT), neurology and many others; the entire field is being put upside down.
It was obvious that a book discussing the most important drivers and backgrounds could not be written by one person; it would require collaboration between authors of quite different disciplines. And so, we invited scholars of different disciplines, from different parts of the world, established academics as well as promising new talents and writers in the twilight zone of their careers, such as, alas, one editor, to contribute.
We composed the book for students, academics, teachers, course developers, staff of overseeing (governmental) bodies and anyone interested in the fascinating subject of learning. We hope readers may gain valuable insight and inspiration from this volume.
Although the chapters follow a model—outlined in Chapter 1—they can be studied individually or in arbitrary order.
We would like to thank our authors for their enthusiastic cooperation; working with them was a delight. We also wish to thank Anthem Publishers to make this volume possible and offering invaluable assistance on the way.
“We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work and relate to one another. In its scale, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before. We do not yet know just how it will unfold, but one thing is clear: the response to it must be integrated and comprehensive, involving all stakeholders of the global polity, from the public and private sectors to academia and civil society.” This quote, from Professor Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chair of World Economic Forum, continues to list some of the emerging technologies: “artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage and quantum computing” (Schwab, 2018). He could have added neuroscience, genetic engineering, blockchain technology and a host of other new technologies that have digitization as a common base. Further in his article he writes: “The demand for highly skilled workers has increased while the market for workers with less education and lower skills has decreased. The result is a job market with a strong demand at the high and low ends, but a hollowing out in the middle.”
Hyperbole? Well, nobody doubts the impact of the technologies now being developed. Just about every day we are confronted with estimates of the alarming number of jobs that are going to be destroyed, making you wonder whether anyone will have a job at all in the not-too-distant future. Yet, the passage quoted above could have been written equally well in say 1880, when electrical power, (international) railways and motorized shipping, telegraph, telephone, photography, cars, motorized farming and, eventually, aviation were entering into the lives of our great-grandparents. They certainly “involved all stakeholders of the global polity, from the public and private sectors to academia and civil society” (op cit). Closer in time, many of us will remember the massive layoffs of administrative staff when computers became a commodity. Despite these enormous shifts, unemployment levels have remained low and not only because we work (slightly) less. How come? The answer is education. Each wave of technological change calls for workers with new skills, lured to the new professions by the early monumental salaries; think of the salaries of IT staff at the end of the previous century.
Having come to the end of this book, let us try to get the overall picture. What will learning be like in the not-too-distant future?
If there is anything this book makes clear, it is the pervasive impact of the results of (recent) brain research; its influence turns up in most chapters. Teachers are brain changers—says David Sousa in Chapter 3. And he warns: “Because they (students) know where to find the information, they are not motivated to learn the information itself. Thus, their brains are not practicing the mechanisms of higher-order thinking, such as application, analysis, evaluation, creativity, and metacognition. We need to recognize that early and consistent reliance on the Internet may diminish the brain’s need to be creative, think critically, and retain information. Teachers at all levels need to plan their instruction to use the Internet to expand student creativity and problem-solving skills rather than replace them.”
At the same time, Chapter 12 warns us there is much hot air in the use of educational neurology and we must be careful that it doesn’t become all hype. In the words of Bruno della Chiesa, “This chapter seeks to reflect on the role that educational neuroscience plays or does not play in public opinion-building and decision-making processes. The challenges met by this new discipline during the first two decades of its existence (2000–2020) range from skepticism and indifference to fashion phenomenon that saw the proliferation of neuromyths, and the mushrooming of neuro-traffickers and neuro-hijackers.”
Nevertheless, today it is imperative that anyone engaged in, or associated with teaching and learning, understands how the brain works, keeping abreast of the new insights that are pouring in almost daily at a rapid pace.
The Way We Learn and Teach
From this book it emerges there are five dominant developments that will shape the future of learning and education—Third Generation Learning as we have called it in Chapter 1. These are, to be elaborated upon in the next paragraphs:
1. Students will take the driving seat in their education. Courses will increasingly become individualized while students get more influence in the governing of their educational institution (see “Students Take the Driving Seat”).
2. Learning soft skills (social skills, empathy) will become just as important as cognitive competencies. High tech—high touch 2.0 (see “ Social Skills”).
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.