I love learning about change and managing change in our increasingly complex world. One question that I often ask people, particularly from different industries outside of education, is how their particular work place has changed over the past, say, ten or so years. For some people there have been huge changes even over the past five years or less.
One example that comes immediately to mind for me is the story of Blockbuster. I went to university with a guy who worked at a local Blockbuster for a while to earn some extra money while in school. I was in university about ten years ago and at the time it was still pretty common to go to the video store for home entertainment. I can remember having a conversation with this fellow who worked at the Blockbuster about the future of movie rentals. Neither of us knew about Netflix or other online video streaming services at the time and his basic supposition was that it might change a bit, but the basic principles would remain the same moving into the future. To be honest, no one could have foreseen the dramatic shift in the business model ten years ago. In fact, even as recently as 2010 Blockbuster still maintained that they could compete with the emerging online video streaming options with their traditional store-based model. We now all know how that ended.
If interested, here is an article that tells some of the Blockbuster story in more detail.
What does any of this have to do with education?
In short, the world has changed a lot in the past ten years and the world of education is increasingly trying to figure out how to manage in these changing realities. In many cases, unfortunately, schools have been more reactive rather than proactive in our emerging ‘knowledge-based’ economy. Industries that were previously not considered ‘high-tech’ have seen their daily practices change dramatically due to the rate of technological advances. Think of how much the basic taxi service has changed with the advent of Uber, as another example.
How should we, as Christians, respond to these realities? Even better, as Andy Crouch talks about in his book Culture Making, how can Christians move from responding to or critiquing culture to actually participating in and leading the creation of our culture? For me, this is a key question as we consider the future of London Christian High.
Going back to the original question, I would be really interested to hear from you (parent, grandparent, guardian, wider supporter), how has your workplace changed in the last ten or so years? What should schools be doing about that from your perspective? Do you see a difference between culture critique and culture creation?
Zach working in Construction Tech; another rapidly changing industry.