Generation 2030

Trend F (Evolution of Public School)

Evolution of Public School

People are questioning the value of traditional schooling environments and approaches, both because of mounting evidence that these are not effective and because of the cultural standards the public school system reinforces. These alternative approaches are often enabled by technology, such as online support or learning communities, distance education platforms, and online resources.

As a result, alternatives to the Canadian public school system are proliferating. Most notably, the Manitoba First Nations School System, the first of its kind in Canada, is blazing a trail for other other First Nations school systems across the country. Homeschooling, and the newer “unschooling” movement, have also attracted many Canadian parents to become educators for and with their children. In addition, parents of children with disabilities are being forced to find alternative education because their children do not receive the support they need in classrooms.

Possible Implications:

  • In the future, these alternatives to traditional schooling could support children with radically diverse needs and interests in pursuing the learning environments and topics that are more engaging and useful for them.

  • Children may be able to pick from a variety of educational experiences, such as apprenticeships, travel, and self-directed research or making projects.

  • It may become more difficult to ensure standards of education, as more systems of education gain in popularity.

  • However, these alternative systems could be difficult to access because of economic, physical, or political barriers. This could create even more disparity between the quality of education received by children across Canada.


How new is this trend?

This is just developing, but change happens fast. If you pay attention to the media, you may see stories about this now.



What's driving these trends?

Drivers are forces that create change. These can be things like shifting populations and demographics of an area, or cultural movements and stories that we rely on to shape how we believe. Drivers are often the “causes” behind the trends and signals we observe through our scan.


Acknowledgement of Interconnectedness

As our world becomes increasingly complex and global, we have become more aware of the ways in which humans are interconnected with each other, plants, animals, and other elements of the natural world. This awareness is driving change in policy, societal values, and behaviours.


Decentralization, or the redistribution of power, responsibilities, and resources, is driving many changes in government, education, healthcare, and business. Decentralization enables wider participation in systems and decision-making and supports greater diversity. Technology is enabling decentralization through tools such as crowdsourcing platforms, social networks, and blockchain technology.


Deformalization is the transition from formal structures, processes, and institutions, to informal ones. Deformalization is enabled in many cases by technology and is occurring as people question traditional views and ways of doing things.


Connectivity & Processing Speeds

Advancements in technology have created much faster connectivity and processing speeds. These specific achievements have enabled countless innovations in personal computing devices, technology platforms and artificial intelligence, among other things.

Mechanistic to Holistic Thinking

Since the Industrial Revolution, Western society has embraced a mechanistic view of organizations and communities, breaking systems down and defining a system by its specific parts. A shift is occurring towards holistic thinking, which addresses the complexity, ambiguity and connections between elements within a system. This shift is changing the ways we understand and approach the world around us.