Looking back on your college years, what would you change about your experience? Would you head to college straight out of high school? Choose a sensible major? Power through and get your degree in four years?
Sarah Stein Greenberg, executive director of the Stanford Design School, offers a provocative alternative to our existing higher education system. In her compelling talk at Wired by Design, Greenberg asks: how can we go beyond redesigning higher education — how can we fundamentally change it?
To foster creative thinkers and problem solvers – people who will have to tackle complex challenges like the ebola epidemic, data security breaches, climate change – Greenberg and her colleagues set out to learn what students want and need from their college experiences. They asked students to interview each other, and used insights from their research to propose radically different models for higher education. These are just some of their ideas:
- What if students could loop in and out of university and work in the real world over the course of six years? Or what if they could move through college at their own pace, with the ability at different points to explore lots of topics broadly, then focus and gain expertise, as well as practice in the field?
- What if students could build college transcripts that emphasize skills rather than a record of classes?
- What if students could declare missions, not majors, such as the School of Hunger or School of Renewable Energy?
How do you think your career – or even your life – would have changed, if any of these defined your college experience?
(Posted also on my LinkedIn Thought Leader blog)