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Future of Learning

Roadmap to Action

The Future of Education: Alive and Flourishing
By Jaya Ramchandani and Cary Reid
Roadmap to Action

The COVID-19 pandemic forced schools to abandon the stigma against learning in virtual spaces, giving many the opportunity to experience the benefits of hybrid schools and online learning. Then along came generative artificial intelligence (Gen AI), shaking the use of traditional assessment instruments, and giving us a glimpse of its potential to personalize learning. Global boiling is occurring and should make us all reexamine how we exist in the world. Our students recognize that something radical is happening around them, and they do not see us acknowledge that in how we educate them. Understandably, this shakes their trust in the system, in us.

In the midst of this all, we are getting our classrooms and learning platforms ready for a new year. At the back of our minds, we are dreaming up ways to put more positive, sustainable, healthy ideas into our teaching. If the purpose of education is to prepare students for the future, what is our vision of the future we are preparing them for? And who is deciding: children, parents, teachers, school administrators, board members, universities, states, nations, should we continue to follow the money?

Our vision for the future of education is one that is alive with individual flourishing, community building, skills for meaningful and equitable work, egalitarian governance structures including student agency, and lots of natural beauty and inspiration. We want it to be a mirror of what we want to see manifested in the world. But your vision may be a little different because your needs and priorities are different. We believe that a more alive future awaits us all if we decentralize education systems, empowering communities to define a vision and a roadmap for themselves.

Organizations like Mastery Transcript Consortium and Western Association of Schools and Colleges have evolved to make it possible for us to turn those visions into reality. Amala Education, Think Global School, and the School of Humanity are all viable examples that use these new pathways to meet community needs and bridge the gap to credibility in the eyes of universities and workplaces. So, now that we know it is possible, how do we take our hopes and dreams, the lessons of the past, and the projections of the future and start shaping the education that we (whoever we are) believe in?

This article is the first in a series that sets the stage to help create your vision of the future of education and a roadmap to action.

Roadmap to envisioning education for an alive future. (Photo source: Jaya Ramchandani and Cary Reid)

  1. Create Future Scenarios:

In this phase, you start to define a future by identifying your beliefs, key future drivers, and community needs. You will simulate multiple scenarios that draw from insights like supports, changes, and constraints. You are doing this because action follows intention, and people come together through shared visions of the future.

  1. Lookback History:

In phase two, you look back into history, examining influential events and historical impacts, to explain your reality. You will describe what the current system does well and the problems that need to be addressed to live that alive future. You are doing this to keep the good and mitigate the bad and have a better handle of your strengths and constraints. It will help you improve canvas one (Create Future Scenarios) and narrow down on a scenario.

  1. Roadmap From Reality:

In phase three, you sketch out a roadmap of actions that will bring about the envisioned future. What is desirable is not always feasible or viable. You will start by mapping your current state, setting objectives, and developing strategies considering resources and potential barriers. Your road map should be flexible enough to change when drivers change. People buy into visions that are achievable.

  1. Share Your Vision:

A movement is strong when we witness a momentum. This culminating phase invites understanding, buy-in, and engagement towards your vision. You will customize your vision story for different stakeholders to coalesce energy from children, parents, teachers, school administrators, board members, universities, states, nations. Let the money follow you.

Each article in this series will guide you through the steps necessary to inform and inspire the next phase of educational transformation, fueling collective action that spurs more reform. Let’s initiate this process by considering the collaborators you want to join you in this mission.

In our next article, we will begin phase one: to define a future shaped by your beliefs. We look forward to going on this journey with you.





Jaya Ramchandani is a Liberia-born, India-raised, international educator. She started her career in publishing, helping non-native English speakers from Asia publish in top-tier science journals. She then worked in astronomy outreach and organized a number of informal learning projects; the most ambitious of which was India’s first art-science festival. Moving into formal education, she spent the last few years teaching International Baccalaureate physics at UWC ISAK in Japan and the United Nations International School in New York, where she currently lives and works as an Education Consultant and Learning Experience Designer.


Cary Reid is a Jamaican educator who has spent the last decade creating alternative systems for schools so that they can support more types of students. He has tried this at high schools and universities in Jamaica, India, Hong Kong, Japan, and Norway. He has also worked on system design in public health, peacekeeping, and diplomacy.





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