Trend 1 (Aging)

“We’re not as young as we used to be!”

For the first time in history, the old will outnumber the young.

Worldwide: In developed nations, the old will substantially outnumber the young. In underdeveloped nations, the young will substantially outnumber the old.

The handwriting is on the wall. In 2000, 27 % of the U. S. population was 18 or younger, and 21 % was 55 or older. By 2030, when the Baby Boom Generation is between 66 and 84 years of age, 25 % will be 18 or younger, and 31 % will be 55 or older.

With regard to our Trend of Aging, what should today's educational leaders consider when forecasting and planning for the future of learning in the year 2020?
Based on the fact that by 2020 as the population ages and more people are on fixed income, pressure on school budgets will increase. Educational leaders have to plan for this shift. They will need to consider that the school age population will be decreasing. Therefore, there wil be excess capacity Public support of educational funding may decrease. Schools will face budgetary constraints due to loss of economy of scale. Per pupil costs will therefore escalate. Some school buildings may be repurposed based on this reduced need. This available space may be used for expanding community based programs and services. These programs include continuing and adult education courses. For example, continuing education courses in current technology for older citizens. Care for older citizens may take a higher priority and even replace some current child care programs. Due to a shift in the age of the population we will have to prepare students for a greater need of service and health care workers, technology advances, and medical ethicists. With regard to technological advances, special thought must be provided to national security issues and assistive technology. Additionally, an aprreciation and respect for the elderly should be more clearly referenced in the vision of the graduate, and in teaching practices. Other considerations include a greater use of elderly citizens to provide perspective on topics such as history and medical ethics.
Based on a reduced work force (as seniors retire) a need for accelerating the pace of graduation time may be considered.