Future of Learning Top Reads for week of Apr 8 2019

“Declining Birthrates Shrink Enrollment Pipelines,” on the Net Assets blog

“The Hechinger Report's Jill Barshay, using data from the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, projects that the number of students in U.S. schools will drop 8.5 percent in the coming decades. The decline began in the recesion year of 2010, three years after the 2007 all-time high of 4.32 million births. But while birthrates often decline during economic downturns, the downward trend has continued even through years of recovery. In 2017, 3.85 million babies were born, representing a 10.7 percent decline from the 2007 high.

“Factors behind the slowing birthrate include later marriage ages and a variety of economic barriers, including increased student-loan debt, rising housing costs and more expensive childcare.”

Why does this matter to the future of learning?

On Twitter, Geoff Still (@GeoffStill1) put his finger on an essential question when he wrote, “Combining [demographic decline] with cost and the competition for enrollment due to other options will push schools to make hard decisions. What sets your school apart? Know your value proposition.”


Preparing teachers for project-based teaching,” by Pam Grossman, Christopher G. Pupik Dean, Sarah Schneider Kavanagh, and Zachary Herrmann, in Kappan Online

“We found that our participating teachers focused on four primary goals: supporting deep disciplinary content learning, engaging students in authentic work, supporting student collaboration, and building an iterative culture where students are always prototyping, reflecting, redesigning, editing, and trying again. To achieve these four goals, the teachers enacted a repertoire of teaching practices, which we have come to call core practices of project-based teaching.

“Disciplinary work is inherently authentic, insofar as students are actively engaged in producing knowledge, not just consuming it. If they are doing history (examining historical artifacts to answer authentic historical questions); doing science (asking questions about natural phenomena and then engaging in the scientific method to test hypotheses); and doing mathematics (making sense of and describing the world by finding patterns, modeling phenomena, creating arguments, and solving problems), then they are doing the authentic work of those disciplines.”

Why does this matter to the future of learning?

“Knowing” a discipline reflects the work of crystallized intelligence. Useful to a point, after which there are diminishing returns in an age of accelerations.

“Doing” a discipline reflects fluid intelligence. This is how we learn how to learn, an essential capacity for our VUCA world.

Teachers who can facilitate project-based learning will enable students to develop both crystallized and fluid intelligences.

…in a similar vein…


What If The Future Of Work Starts With High School?” by Heather McGowan, in Forbes

“The XQ Learner Goals include Foundational Knowledge, to place information in proper context; Fundamental Literacies, including digital and computational proficiencies, to navigate this complex new world; Generous Collaborators, to work in cross cultural and trans-disciplinary teams; and Original Thinkers to create new value while serving our world’s most pressing challenges, cognizant that all students must become Learners For Life.”

Why does this matter to the future of learning?

Note how the XQ Learner Goals shake out:

“Crystallized Intelligence”

  • Foundational Knowledge

  • Fundamental Literacies

“Fluid Intelligence”

  • Generous Collaborators

  • Creative Thinkers


Question of the week:



Thank you for reading this post from Basecamp's blog, Ed:Future. Do you know someone who would find the Ed:Future blog worthwhile reading? Please let them know that they can subscribe here.

Christian Talbot