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  • Writer's pictureDr. Patrick E. Crawford

The State of Education 2023

Leadership Thoughts | Issue #120

10 Shifts Transforming Organizations

I read an article recently titled, The State of Organizations 2023, published by McKinsey & Company. McKinsey & Company is a global management consulting firm founded in 1926 by University of Chicago professor James O. McKinsey.

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They offer professional services to corporations, governments, and other organizations. I regularly scan McKinsey for interesting material; this article had a catchy title and twelve authors. Incredibly, how many people contribute to the same article, but it works in this case. The report outlined ten shifts transforming organizations and what leaders can do about them.

  1. Increasing speed, strengthening resilience

  2. 'True hybrid': The new balance of in-person and remote work

  3. Making way for applied AI

  4. New rules of attraction, retention, and attrition

  5. Closing the capability chasm

  6. Waling the talent tightrope

  7. Leadership that is self-aware and inspiring

  8. Making meaningful progress on diversity, equity, and inclusion

  9. Mental health: Investing in a portfolio of interventions.

  10. Efficiency reloaded.

I will not attempt to explain each of the ten shifts here, but I encourage you to read the report. You can get a copy at: functions/people and organizational performance/our insights/the state of organizations 2023/the-state-of-organizations-2023.pdf

5 Shifts Transforming Education

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The McKinsey report got me thinking about the state of education in 2023. After considering the question, I narrowed my thinking to five shifts I see in education that I believe will impact schools now and in the future. Some of the following have been around for some time, but they may trigger a significant disruption soon.

  1. Technology-driven personalized and adaptive systems: As technology progresses, there is an increasing focus on making learning more personalized and adaptive. By the end of 2023, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) algorithms embedded in educational platforms and tools could become quite popular. These technologies will be able to analyze student data and create tailored learning paths to increase engagement and improve the results.

  2. Focus on Competencies: In the future of curricula, more focus might be put on skill-based and competency-based education. This method of instruction pays greater attention to developing proficiency in practical skills, industry-savviness, and capacities that mesh with the demands of today's job market. Traditional models are regularly critiqued for not readying students for what they'll face outside the classroom.

  3. A movement toward competency-based assessments: Conventional tests and standardized testing may be replaced with competency-based assessments. These assessments focus on determining students' proficiency in applying knowledge and skills to practical scenarios instead of exclusively depending on memorization. Competency-based assessments offer a more comprehensive assessment of a student's abilities.

  4. Shift the focus to social-emotional learning: As schools and educational institutions realize the significance of an all-encompassing approach to development, they will likely prioritize social-emotional learning more in 2023. SEL programs strive to cultivate emotional intelligence, empathy, resilience, and interpersonal skills among students, increasing their happiness levels and equipping them for success later in life.

  5. A focus on lifelong learning: In 2023, a greater emphasis may be placed on fostering a culture of continual education. Students would be encouraged to take ownership of their learning and create pathways for developing skills and knowledge throughout their lives. Educational institutions could provide resources to assist with this goal, helping students increase their capabilities and stay competitive in the ever-changing job market.

The Forecast for Schools

Gazing out the window, I pondered how these shifts would influence schools, educational trends, and the demands placed on them. What are the new demands that will emerge for educators and policymakers to navigate? I don't want to comment on each topic (at this time); instead, I want to provide a forecast based on what I see coming.

  1. School choice will become the norm.

  2. The scarcity of qualified personnel will cause schools to compete for teachers and administrators.

  3. Parents and other educational community members will be increasingly vocal about school demands.

  4. People will explore different configurations for the work week and school calendar.

  5. Traditional education methods will clash with more recent innovations in teaching.

  6. Project-based learning will grow in popularity.

  7. The communication between and among parents, students, and teachers will improve.

  8. Online courses and programs will increase options for furthering one's education.

  9. Micro and Nano learning will be introduced into the classroom.

  10. School leaders and teachers will have difficulty keeping up with the expectations set forth by modern society.

I urge you to consider the recent changes you have seen in the educational system and how your role can positively impact the future. You can accept or deny the musings of an experienced educational leader as we glimpse what school looks like in 2023-24 and beyond.


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