Superintendent's OfficeMr. Michael R. CornellSuperintendentWendy Heslink, Executive Assistant to SuperintendentAdministration Building5305 Abbott Rd.Hamburg, NY 14075(716) 646-3200, ext. 7220FAX: (716) 646-3209Follow the Superintendent on Twitter
Preparing the Class of 2030 Changes Today’s Learning Experiences
It has often been said that the only thing in life that is constant is change. This basic truth seems more pervasive in our lives with each passing year, and this truth manifests itself daily in our schools. For the past year, the Hamburg Central School District has been deeply engaged in understanding the fundamental reasons for the changes that are occurring in the world and the impact that they are having on how young people need to learn.
At the start of the 2017-2018 school year (last year), we asked ourselves an essential question, “How do we need to change in order to meet the needs of the class of 2030?” The work of honestly answering that question has occurred constantly for the last 12 months through professional learning that takes place in our district-wide strategic planning meetings, our Administrative meetings, collaborative learning teams in each school and through action research projects in collaboration with SUNY Fredonia Faculty.
There are two important thoughts that have helped shape our understanding of how the nature and velocity of change will impact our students. They are:
- “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who can’t read and write, but those who can’t learn, unlearn and relearn.” (Toffler)
- “Our job as educators is to prepare students for jobs that don’t exist yet, to use technology that hasn’t been invented yet, and to solve problems that we don’t know will arise.” (Various)
There is an interesting divergence that I think will play out in the labor force over the next 20 years that will impact our children. On the one hand we know that half of our students will likely hold a job over the next 25 years that doesn’t exist today. On the other hand, many of our students will end up in a job that has been around for 100 years, or more, such as carpenters, auto repair, electricians and plumbers. While these jobs have been around for a very long time, the work of those jobs will continue to change rapidly as technology and the needs of customers change.
This brings us to a similarly interesting convergence. Whether our children take a job that is a product of our new economy, or one that has been around for generations, every one of them will be required to have modern world literacy allowing them to learn, unlearn and relearn. They must be modern thinkers who are creative and critical thinkers, who can collaborate productively and who can thoughtfully communicate.
Our understanding of the direction and velocity of the changes that are happening has allowed us to uncover a wide array of opportunities that will inform the ways in which we offer learning experiences for our students over the next decade. We have already begun to adapt spaces, programs and budgets to take advantage of some of these opportunities, which are specifically designed to invite students to create, critically think, collaborate and communicate.
Our District Vision is to “educate modern thinkers who create, care, solve and discover.” With that in mind, please know that we will continue to innovate and be thoughtful about helping your children be modern thinkers and learners who are ready to not just adapt to the changes of the modern world, but who are also truly inspired and empowered to drive the changes of the modern world.