An authentic education for the 21st Century
The Aspirations Academies Trust which has a very successful record in not only greatly improving failing and under-performing schools, but also in developing new, innovative schools. The Trust’s vision is to deliver an authentic education for the 21st century for children from the age of 4 to19. We aim to ensure all students achieve high levels of success in SAT’s at KS1 and 2, in a broad range of GCSE and A Level examinations, whilst at the same time equipping them with the skills required to play an active and successful role in today’s highly competitive, fast-changing digital world.
To be successful in the next decade, individuals will need to demonstrate foresight in navigating a rapidly shifting landscape of organisational forms and skill requirements. People will increasingly be called upon to continually reassess the skills they need, and quickly put together the right resources to develop and update these. Workers in the future will need to be adaptable lifelong learners. Our task is to prepare our young people for success in this future world.
To ensure this happens, the Aspirations Academies Trust believe that schools need to do more than simply deliver success in the knowledge based examination system that currently drives our school system. All Aspirations Academies are working hard to achieve high level qualifications alongside the development of the essential 21st century skills (see below). Central to this work is the development of new approaches to teaching and learning which are designed to challenge and engage students whilst developing relevant skills. We are driving this by not only developing Space Studio Schools and Livingstone Academies as ‘unique’ schools which develop their own alternative approaches to education that are ideally suited to the future world, whilst at the same time continually implementing and testing a wide range of innovative and highly successful strategies in all our other Aspirations Academies.
The future world of work landscape is being reshaped by six drivers of change, working independently or together. These drivers are:
1. Extreme Longevity: Increasing global lifespans change the nature of careers and learning
2. The rise of smart machines and systems: Workplace automation nudges human workers out of rote, repetitive tasks.
3. Computational world: Massive increases in sensors and processing power make the world a programmable system
4. New media ecology: New communication tools require new media literacies beyond text.
5. Super-structured organisations: Social technologies drive new forms of production and value creation.
6. Globally connected world: Increased global interconnectivity puts diversity and adaptability at the centre of organisational operations.
These six disruptive forces have significant implications for the future workforce. The following ten skills are critical for success in this future workforce:
1. Sense making (critical thinking): The ability to determine the deeper meaning or significance of what is being expressed.
2. Social intelligence: The ability to connect to others in a deep and direct way, to sense and stimulate reactions and desired interactions.
3. Novel and adaptive thinking: The proficiency at thinking and coming up with solutions and responses beyond that which is rote or rule-based.
4. Cross-cultural competency: The ability to operate in different cultural settings.
5. Computational thinking: The ability to translate vast amounts of data into abstract concepts and to understand data based reasoning.
6. New media literacy: The ability to critically assess and develop content that uses new media forms, and to leverage these media for persuasive communication.
7. Transdisciplinarity: To develop literacy in and the ability to understand concepts across multiple disciplines.
8. Design mindset: The ability to represent and develop tasks and work processes for desired outcomes.
9. Cognitive load management: The ability to discriminate and filter information for importance, and to understand how to maximise cognitive functioning using a variety of tools and techniques.
10. Virtual collaboration: The ability to work productively, drive engagement, and demonstrate presence as a member of a virtual team.
(Developed by the Institute for the Future)
Aspirations Academies Trust is a charitable organisation operating in association with the Quaglia Institute for Student Aspirations (QISA) and Quaglia Institute for School Voice and Aspirations (QISVA). QISA is an independent, nonprofit organisation dedicated to promoting and putting into practice the conditions that foster student aspirations in schools and learning communities around the world. QISA is the primary education partner of the Aspirations Academies Trust, with support provided by Aspirations Unlimited International. QISVA provides dynamic assessment tools designed to achieve the goal of fostering student aspirations in order for students to reach their fullest potential.
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