Trend 13 (Personal Meaning)

“Give me a break!”

Greater numbers of people will seek personal meaning in their lives in response to an intense, high-tech, always-on, fast-moving society.

With regard to our Trend of Personal Meaning, what should today's educational leaders consider when forecasting and planning for the future of learning in the year 2020?
This is an age old problem. As Peter Cookson Jr. stated in his article "What Would Socrates Say?" (2009), Socrates said "I know nothing except the fact of my own ignorance" emphasizing that even the wisest cannot know everything. We need to keep in mind that this feeling of pressure in response to rapid change and infinite information has long been a fact of human existence.

This problem is now compounded by the 24/7 availability of information, and the widespread pressure to keep up. We must educate students to make wise choices in terms of evaluating the quality of information, and teach them to analyze and apply their learning. The educational system must begin by helping students find meaning and connection to their work. Transdisiplinary units should be implemented to create more holistic learning opportunities. We need to teach students to slow down and to reflect deeply when accessing their information. We need to help students understand the purpose of a core body of knowledge and the connection to their futures. We need to help students experience the pleasure and meaning found in the purposeful pursuit of knowledge.