Waterloo Global Science Initiative Release a New Blueprint for 21st Century Education

The Waterloo Global Science Initiative has released the Equinox Blueprint: Learning 2030, a vision for redesigning high school education to best prepare students for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

At the World Literacy Summit in Oxford this week, the Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI) released its Equinox Blueprint: Learning 2030, a comprehensive document of findings and recommendations for rebooting high school education for the future.

WGSI is a non-profit partnership between Perimeter Institute and the University of Waterloo, created to promote dialogue around complex global issues and advance strategies for a sustainable future.

The newly released Blueprint is the result of the Equinox Summit, which brought more than 40 education innovators from around the world to Perimeter Institute for a week-long forum in the summer of 2013.

The findings and recomendations of the Blueprint, says Summit curator Dr. Michael Brooks, are intended to spark innovative, practical reforms to education that best prepare the children being born now, who will be graduating high school by 2030, to be productive and successful in their postsecondary lives.

“We need the kind of change that can work anywhere for anyone, regardless of their resources,” said Brooks. “We can impact the well-being of a generation with changes that are well-defined, affordable, and implementable. But we need to begin this work now.”

The 2013 Summit was the second such biennial gathering hosted by WGSI, following 2011’s inaugural Equinox Summit: Energy 2030, which explored how cutting-edge science and technology can contribute toward a more sustainable energy future.

The latest summit shifted focus to the intellectual energy that will power the future, and ways to ensure this precious resource is nourished and tapped to its peak potential.

The heart of the new Blueprint is a student-centred vision, thanks to the input of many contributors between the ages of 18 and 30, such as American education activist Nikhil GoyalThiel Fellows Chris Olah and Noor Siddiqui, and Sam Levin, founder of the Independent Project.

The Blueprint focuses on seven goals, each of which is further supported with case studies and research:

  • Developing lifelong learners with a clear sense of self
  • Cross-disciplinary and collaborative projects that connect students with their interests and community
  • Fluid groupings of students dictated by of-the-moment academic and social needs
  • Teachers who co-create and curate the learning of their colleagues and students
  • Ongoing, iterative assessment of learning
  • Learners, teachers, caregivers, and government all at the decision-making table
  • Risk-taking students and teachers who are empowered to experiment with their education

In order to “unfreeze” these priorities, students from the Master of Digital Experience Innovation program at the University of Waterloo designed an interactive website, learning2030.org. On this platform, education communities around the world can share their stories and plans for change, discuss common issues, and support one another in the ongoing process of transforming high school education.

The Equinox Blueprint can be downloaded at wgsi.org.

About the Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI)

Founded in 2009, Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI) is a non-profit partnership between Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and the University of Waterloo, a pairing that has previously resulted in the distinguished Perimeter Scholars International program and the University of Waterloo’s pioneering Institute for Quantum Computing. WGSI’s mandate is to promote dialogue around complex global issues and to catalyze the long-range thinking necessary to advance ideas, opportunities and strategies for a secure and sustainable future. The organization’s core activities includethe Equinox Summit Series, Equinox Blueprints, Equinox Fellowship for young leaders, and a range of impact activities programmed around each summit topic and its outcomes. For more information visit wgsi.org.

For more information, contact:

Hayley Rutherford
Content & Programming Coordinator
Waterloo Global Science Initiative
T 011 44 07502600288

North America
Eamon O’Flynn
External Relations Specialist
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
T +1 (519) 569-7600 ext. 5071

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