Our current educational system was developed a century ago during the rise of the industrial age and was once the envy of the world. However, the world economy has since transformed profoundly, and our education system has not. Major industries that are dominating our economy today did not even exist 10 years ago. Profits from major US companies are at an all time high while US unemployment rises. The problem is our schools are attempting to teach and test skills, when mastered, that still leave graduates woefully unprepared for the 21st Century, and we simply are not producing enough graduates whose innovation and creativity has been fostered by our education system. This is not only a threat to the future of our children, but a threat to the future of this country.
An education that prioritizes skills like initiative and entrepreneurialism, critical thinking and problem-solving, collaboration, creativity, and communication will almost certainly produce a more innovative and adaptable population. At schools like High Tech High in San Diego, Olin College in Massachusetts, Stanford’s Design School, and The MIT Media Lab, students learn to collaborate as well as learn on their own. They combine subject matters so that students learn to solve problems across disciplinary boundaries. They focus on projects rather than tests. They are allowed to take risks that might end up failing without being penalized and early results indicate that this is the most effective way to educate for the 21st century.
Our film seeks to document schools, educators, policy makers and thought leaders that are trying to implement the kind of philosophical shift needed to produce the change that is required in education to be ready for the 21st Century.
For more information about this film, visit mltsfilm.org
The film’s creative team is led by Greg Whiteley, of One Potato Productions. He is joined by Executive Producer Ted Dintersmith (Charles River Ventures) and education expert Tony Wagner (The Global Achievement Gap, Creating Innovators) who is serving as the film’s senior adviser.