Theme 5: A New Moral Focus
Education systems need to promote a deep shift in moral values; an inner attunement with the world as a singular entity.
Public education systems are extremely important. They provide equity of access that, left solely to the means of the individual, would remain out of reach for many. There is an implicit societal element to consider as well. Public education supports the concept of a larger common good; that we can live together in a better world when everyone has an opportunity for personal growth.
There are several moral foci to this larger idea that need to be reconsidered as they relate to industrial-era education systems and the new world we live in. The first relates to what equity of access means in relation to the intended objectives of public education.
Industrial-era education systems seek to apply equity in relation to education as something of limited supply. But we now live in a world that requires us to see education as a valuable resource. We need to maximimize access to education so that we can address the increasingly complex problems that will continue to threaten global system sustainability. Meta-education system thinking recognizes that education, as a valuable resource, requires maximized access and quality to optimize the capacity of every person.
The second moral focus relates to public education and the impact that rapid technological advancements are having on our ability to work together in global unity. Micro-education system thinking
sees technology as a support or add-on to current industrial-era system structures. In comparison, meta-education system thinking recognizes the profound impact that rapid technological advancements are having on social cohesion and personal health.
Social media and the rapidly accelerating impact of artificial intelligence are the most significant examples of media and technological change that requires meta-education thinking. We need system thinking that addresses the need for social cohesion; where education is truly integrated with other social and personal support systems. Our public education systems need to be recognized as a critical driver to promote a deep shift in moral values and inner attunement with the world as a singular entity and development of human capacities to address large and complex problems.
"Too many futurists are simplistic techno-optimists". "They do not show any sensitivity or sophistication concerning the educational, socio-cultural, economic, and political realities that must be in place for a world with these kinds of technologies to be humane in any reasonable sense of the word." Zacary Stein, Education in a Time Between World, p. 239