7 Ways To Transform Education By 2030

It’s a simple question: what will high school look like in 2030?

The reality is that we don’t know. There isn’t a plan. Up until now there has been a tacit belief that education systems will evolve to meet the needs of the future. But, what if our current modus operandi can’t evolve quickly enough? What if it doesn’t evolve at all? How do we ensure that the children enter into the world now – the same children who will graduate from high school from 2030 onward – are prepared for a world that moves at the speed of light?

The Waterloo Global Science Initiative’s (WGSI) Equinox Blueprint: Learning 2030 addresses these questions. After all, if children born today are to become the successful high school graduates of 2030, now is the time to create the blueprint of an ideal school in the 21st century.

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Here are 7 big ideas for transforming the educational experience before 2030

 7 Ways to Transform Education by 2030

  1. Change the focus from rote learning – the memorization of specific facts and figures – to the development of lifelong learners who are able to think critically and solve problems.
  2. Encourage learning through cross-disciplinary and collaborative projects that are relevant and useful to their community.
  3. Create an environment where students work in fluid groupings that combine students of different ages, different abilities and different interests.
  4. Shift the role of the teacher from “chalk-and-talk” orators to curators of learning, helping students grow their knowledge and skills.
  5. Measure learning progress using qualitative assessments of a student’s skills and competencies, rather than using high-stakes examinations.
  6. Ensure that all groups – teachers, parents, governments and students – have a seat at the table when building the framework for learning.
  7. Empower students and teachers to experiment with new ideas in an environment where they can fail safely and develop confidence to take risks.


Some of these ideas are simple, others require a new way of thinking about education – all of these recommendations have been implemented somewhere. Not only have they succeeded – they’ve done so without massive costs.

It’s time to free ourselves from the mentality that the way it has always been done is necessarily the right way. The children born in this year will graduate into a world we can hardly imagine – a world with new technology, new challenges, and new opportunities. It’s up to us to make sure they’re ready for it.

It’s time to start thinking about the future – after all, 2030 isn’t that far away.

The Learning 2030 Blueprint is available for download at wgsi.org.


Julie Wright is the General Manager of the Waterloo Global Science Initiative.


  1. Sam

    May 2, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    I love the focus on collaboration!

    • JCB

      May 6, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      You do? Why?

  2. Marco robert

    May 4, 2014 at 3:37 am

    It is great to read my same ideas here. As a teacher one thing i find it difficult: how can we develop, implement, and spread this change spending so much time teaching, checking, preparing etc? Of course we need a salary (very low in Italy, to be honest), so i would ask for a decent pay and dedicate my time and that of a motivate visionary team to CHANGE this dinosaurs’ world of education. Can anyone help and join me?