When we are born we learn by doing. If we cry we get food and if we fall we get up. When we are four years old we go to school and start learning what other people think we need to know or what they have been told to teach us. As a child, you usually assume that they know what is good for you so you try to understand and learn everything they teach you.
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the school systems nowadays. I am wondering if the current school systems are teaching what the children need in the future. Nowadays things are changing so rapidly and studies show us that a lot of professions which exist in 2015 will be gone in 10 years from now. This means a lot of people will need to have the capacity to change, to learn and adapt quickly to keep their chances on the labor market. They will need their creativity!
The last decades a lot of new school methods appeared in the Netherlands, so it seems like there are opportunities for changing the system. My thoughts about the possibilities of changing the school systems made me think about the capacity of new ideas to spread. Everett Rogers made a theory called the diffusion of innovations about how, why, and at what rate new ideas and technology spread through cultures. Rogers suggested there are five different types of adaptors of change and that at a certain point the innovation reaches a critical mass. This is when the number of individual adopters ensures that the innovation is self-sustaining.
The five types:
- Innovators – 2,5% They are the first to want to adopt the new idea or technology. They are always looking for new possibilities to change things.
- Early adaptors – 13,5% These individuals are also looking for new ideas and technologies, but they are more discreet in adopting choices than innovators
- Early Majority – 34% The people who are part of this group first need some time before they believe the advantages of the innovation.
- Late majority – 34% They are skeptical about innovation and adopt it after the majority of society has adopted it.
- Laggards – 16% These persons are the last to adopt an innovation and are usually more focused on traditions.
What I have learned from this theory is that if we want new ideas to spread and change to happen, in school systems or somewhere else, we have to get as many people involved until we reach the critical mass. I don’t know where we are right now in the process of changing the school systems, but I do think things are changing. More and more people are starting to question the current systems. I believe innovation is a necessity, because of the rapidly changing world we are living in right now, which makes it more difficult to anticipate on what the economy will look like in the near future. What we need is creativity!
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