Why does school need to change? Because students have changed,

I always enjoy The Mindset List put out by Beloit College. It’s an annual list that comes out at this time every year that itemizes all the things that have changed in the world since this this years cohort of students entering university were born.  I think my favourite from this year’s list is that students entering university or college this year have never lived in a world without hand held Nintendo gaming devices 🙂

I think I enjoy it because it reminds me that our students are not us. They don’t see the world as we do and so we need to always be thinking about that and trying to find new ways to help them learn and understand the world.

I skipped ahead a few years  and pulled out an abbreviated list of things that are true about this year’s grade 9 class. I hope it provokes educators to think about all the fundamental ways their students see the world differently from them.

Things that are true about students entering grade 9 this year:

  • They’ve never seen a physical airline ticket
  • They can’t picture people actually carrying luggage through airports rather than rolling it.
  • There has always been football in Jacksonville but never in Los Angeles.
  • A significant percentage of them will enter college with some hearing loss.
  • Women have always piloted war planes and space shuttles.
  • There have always been blue M&Ms, but no tan ones.
  • Simba has always had trouble waiting to be King.
  • The most shot at man on television is Mr. Burns not J.R.Ewing
  • They have always enjoyed school with a digital yearbook.
  • Herr Schindler has always had a List; Mr. Spielberg has always had an Oscar.
  • History has always had its own channel.
  • If you say “The Twilight Zone” to them, they’ll probably think of vampires, not Rod Serling
  • Two-thirds of the independent bookstores have closed for good during their lifetimes.
  • Lou Gehrig’s record for most consecutive baseball games played has never stood in their lifetimes.
  • Genomes of living things have always been sequenced.

2 thoughts on “Why does school need to change? Because students have changed,

  1. The one that kills me the most is the independent bookstores! Still, I think that most people who grew up in them (like me) wouldn’t trade the internet for them.

  2. Me too. I think it’s interesting that the same hasn’t happened to comics. Seems like the same sort of rules should apply, yet comics are sold almost exclusively in small independent stores. Wonder why there’s a difference? Maybe the difference between a reader (consumer) and a collector?

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