Shift Ed: A Call to Action for Transforming K-12 Education

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Cover image for  article: Shift Ed: A Call to Action for Transforming K-12 Education

As many of you who subscribe to my Shift Age Newsletter know, I co-authored a book with Jeff Cobb on transforming education. Shift Ed: A Call to Action for Transforming K-12 Education was published in April by Corwin Press.

Now, three months later, I am happy to report that the response from the education community has been strong and extremely positive. Two conferences that had me as the keynote speaker purchased copies of the book for all attendees, and the feedback from these educators has been so positive that I am humbled. In addition, several school superintendents have purchased copies for the principals in their districts. I am currently scheduled to present to three large education conferences this summer and fall, as word of mouth on the book is spreading across the country. As I am a futurist and not a professional educator, it is truly gratifying to hear such positive reactions from K-12 educators.

Why did a futurist write a book on transforming education? Here are some of the reasons:

-There is so much noise, finger-pointing and argument about K-12 education today that it became clear to me that there's a lack of vision. Many people have points of view, but they are relative to practices they either criticize or support, all based on the present landscape. The present system doesn't work, so we have to completely start over with a new vision.

-The current system is from the Agricultural Age for its school year, the Industrial Age for most of its buildings and schools, and the Information Age for now-outdated technology. It's time for Shift Age education. The legacy thinking from the 19th and 20th centuries must be jettisoned and replaced with a vision of what 21st-century education looks like.

- One of the questions I am most often asked by audiences in the United States is if we will remain a great country or if we are beginning an inexorable slide downward. If we want to remain a great country, we must better educate our children. If we want to remain a great nation, we must have better educational opportunities for citizens of all ages. It must start with our children. That is why I have written this book on the essential need to transform K-12 education.

There is a companion website for the book, If you want to go straight to the videos, click here. In addition, if you want to hear about the education curriculum of the 21st century, the 5C's, click here.

In Shift Ed: A Call to Action for Transforming K-12 Education, we set forth a vision for transforming education for this century. We ask educators to step up and create this vision or come up with a better one. It is time from transformation, as nothing less will be enough.

David Houle is a futurist, strategist and speaker. He has always been slightly ahead of the curve. Houle spent more than 20 years in media and entertainment. Most recently, David is a featured contributor to Check is out here David can be contacted at

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