A recent article in Forbes delineates the eight steps that the education system needs to take in order to prepare future generations for the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.” 1. Redefine the purpose of education 2. Improve STEM education 3. Develop human potential. 4. Adapt to lifelong learning models. 5. Alter educator training.  6.Make schools maker spaces. 7.International mindfulness 8. Change higher education.

The fourth and eighth points have much in common and are inter-connected.  For rather than memorizing and regurgitating the minutiae of content areas, learners need to develop their potential,  so they can become productive, thoughtful members of society. Thus, learning how to learn and how to think critically should be the end goals of education. In other words: “The one continuing purpose of education, since ancient times, has been to bring people to as full a realization as possible of what it is to be a human being.”

Moreover, educators must provide skills that expand far beyond their content areas.  In his book, Future Shock, Alvin Toffler wrote: “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.   Embedding cognitive skills such as attention, focus, and memory into content areas provides learners with tools they can call upon after they  leave a formal classroom. Accomplishing Thus, if they learn how to focus and reason, they can use these skills to set a goal and then devise a plan to achieve that goal throughout their lifetime. That is the true goal of education. We need to implement these changes without delay!