by John Naisbitt and Patricia Aburdene (1985).
It is essential to bring quality and accountability back into education, but it is not enough. We must go further and introduce the new skills that are appropriate to the information society, skills that are equally valuable in the classroom and in the corporation — thinking, learning, and creating.
Information is no substitute for thinking and thinking is no substitute for information. The dilemma is that there is never enough time to teach all the information that could usefully be taught.
In a world that is constantly changing, there is no one subject or set of subjects that will serve you for the foreseeable future, let alone for the rest of your life. The most important skill to acquire now is learning how to learn.
In the new information society where the only constant is change, we can no longer expect to get an education and be done with it.
There is no one education, no one skill, that lasts a lifetime now.
During the industrial era, to have one’s job become obsolete was like the end of the world. Over the next decade, job obsolescence will become increasingly commonplace and people may even welcome the opportunity to engage in four or five different careers over the course of a lifetime.
New lifelong learners include would-be career changers, upwardly mobile MBA types, engineers and technicians in fast-changing fields, homemakers reentering the job market, executives, and former auto- and steelworkers.
By 1993 the number of eighteen-year-olds who would be potential college students will have declined 25 percent nationwide since 1977. But the adult education boom shows no signs of letting up: The number of people taking some kind of adult education courses rose from 13 million in 1969 to 20 million in 1982, a figure representing four times the number of full-time students.
We are re-inventing education for adult lifelong learners by scheduling courses at the convenience of the student, not the school.
To make the most of today’s educational renaissance, schools must go where the students are.