Theme 7: The Economy of Education
It is natural to want the best for ourselves and our children. Meta-education system thinking can connect the need for a sustainable world with the livlihood and interests of all people.
Industrial-ea education systems are historically linked with the drive for personal success. It is natural for parents to want the best for their children. But what does “the best” look like from system structures that continue to provide education from a competitive and micro perspective of limited supply? How can people seek something different when they don’t know what the future holds or how education in a rapidly changing world will relate to their personal livelihood and interests?
It is probable, due to the profit and power opportunities associated with changing educational needs, that business and privatized influence will play an increasing role in public education systems. In many respects, this is associated with technical advancements that could be valuable from a meta perspective, but continue to exist in micro contexts.
Alternatives are important. They provide choice to consumers of education that are unsatisfied with the offerings of publicly funded systems. It is reasonable to suggest that there will always be a call for alternatives. But it is also significant, given the incapacity of current structures to meet future needs, to consider the implications associated with the demise of publicly funded education,
As school systems become increasingly ineffective (Theme 3), it is also probable that the demand for micro system alternatives such as homeschooling, unschooling, online platforms and other privatized options will continue to expand. These alternatives are micro because they tend to view education from the perspective of the individual alone or from the context of their specific and unique system structures.
Meta-education system thinking recognizes that alternative is not the same as change. When and how do current alternatives become mainstream? The new economy of public education is an enormous opportunity - once it is recognized and systematically structured as a globally available resource that can assist the livilhood and interests of all people in a sustainable world.