Bridging The Gap Between Classroom Learning And The Real World

Education & Catastrophe 68

MOE educators on a Learning Journey hosted by Doyobi and Think Learning Studio

Hey y’all! This is John.

This newsletter is about human flourishing. Ostensibly it’s about better parenting and fixing education, but ultimately what I really care about is helping young people flourish.

In this issue, we discuss bridging the gap between classroom learning and the real world. Covered in this issue:

  • Place-based learning and project-based learning

  • Bringing the real world into the classroom

  • Jobs of the future

  • Future-ready schools

Let’s dive in!

Last week Doyobi and Think Learning Studio co-facilitated a Learning Journey for 12 educators from Singapore’s Ministry of Education (MOE).

Our education landscape and workplaces are changing rapidly. Once our students leave school, they will be faced with new growth areas in various industries arising from technological and societal changes.

To help teachers be future-ready and better equipped to guide students in navigating the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) future, the Teacher Work Attachment Plus (TWA+) programme aims to broaden their perspectives through a range of learning journeys and work attachments in the public, private and people sectors.

Academy of Singapore Teachers

The Academy of Teachers is responsible for the professional development of MOE staff. To recognise that teachers need to be equipped to help students navigate a VUCA world is far-sighted and progressive. Doyobi offered to host Learning Journeys to do our bit to help MOE educators become future-ready. It is also an opportunity for us to share the work we do and how it benefits students and teachers.

With the above as the driving question, Doyobi and Think Learning Studio spent 3 hours with 12 educators from MOE discussing

  • jobs of the future

  • future-ready schools

  • shift in learning mindset

  • project-based learning

  • learner engagement

Since the chart above was published 13 years ago in 2010, the blue line representing Technology has gone up sharply to the right, while the yellow line representing Education has remained flat. In other words, the gap between the two lines that represent social pain has increased significantly.

Most 21st-century students are still being taught by teachers using 20th-century pedagogical practices in 19th-century school organisations.

Andreas Schleicher, Director of the OECD Directorate for Education and Skills

Bridging the gap between classroom learning and the real world starts with knowing the gap exists.

Source: Think Learning Studio

When we polled the educators in the room, hands only started going up at the 70% mark (students are 70% prepared for the workforce), with most people raising their hands at the 50% mark. Acknowledging there is a problem is half the battle won. There’s of course the possibility that we are working with a self-selected group of educators, but we have to start somewhere.

Source: Think Learning Studio

From acknowledging the gap between the classroom and the real world, the next step is to imagine what a future-ready school might look like. Curriculum and pedagogy might be the obvious place to start, but culture and systems come into it as well.

Source: Think Learning Studio

We talked about creating a shift in learning mindset using essential project-based learning traits, in particular the evolving role of the teacher from sage on stage to project manager, creating the space for students to exercise agency and take charge of their own learning.

The educators in the room also got the opportunity to do a deep dive into Doyobi quests, focusing on the 21st century skills and traits/mindsets we want Doyobi learners to develop.

We shared the learning science research Doyobi’s pedagogy is built on and the order of design questions we consider when creating new quests. We also provided examples of how we bring the real world into the Doyobi classroom.

I also shared why we do the work we do at Doyobi.

  • As someone who found school rather boring -> let's make learning engaging and fun

  • As a tech investor with a ringside view of what companies are hiring for -> let's equip young people with 21st century skills like critical thinking and collaborative problem-solving

  • As an Obama Leader -> let's make young people aware of real world issues and humanity-scale challenges, help them figure out their purpose

We can't all be Barack Obama, but everyone can make a difference. Helping young people figure out their purpose is a good place to start.

If you enjoyed this week’s issue, subscribe to Education & Catastrophe now and follow me on LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter (sorry, X) for thoughts on the future of work and learning.