For instance:

  • What will be the implications of young women finding it easiest to fund their way through college by selling their fertile eggs at £20,000 each?
  • What will be the implications of rising sea levels, global warming, ethnic cleansing, or HIV positive rates of 50 percent and more in African countries?
  • What will happen to the market economy when we’re all so satiated with goods that we can’t bear the thought of another CD?
  • Or what are the long-term implications of Viagra on an aging population?

These are all issues which are already starting to surface. In reality, those who must deal with such problems are currently sitting in desks in our schools, listening perhaps to our tired out solutions of years gone by!

These young people will need all the Wits they can possibly muster. Nouce, you call it here in the North – good old robust Common Sense. They’ll need Wisdom too; just to be clever won’t be enough. They’ll need Imagination, Vision and Determination. If ever it was true that it was not so much what you learnt in school that matters, but your ability to learn how to learn that matters, it is now. These youngsters will have to be very, very Tough; Enterprising as well as Compassionate. They’ll have to do far better than we have done.

There’s no escaping the challenge of this Melting pot – it’s already bubbling, and the fuel is in the fire.

Shifting gears.

The human race is the planet’s pre-eminent learning species – it is our brains that give us our superiority, not our muscles.

Why, therefore, do we have a ‘crisis’ in education?

What has gone wrong?

In our search for new ideas, what lessons from our past might we have forgotten?

Just why is it that we speak about a crisis in education? Too often I hear commentators in many countries claiming that their teachers have gone soft; that they now need tightly defined, teacher-proof curricula, and performance related pay, to energize them. Curious isn’t it? Is it that all teachers, in every country, have suddenly started to underperform? Or is it something more profound?

Is it that teachers, administrators, Departments for Education, Ministers, even Prime Ministers have simply failed to move into the rest of the bookshop to study what is now known about human learning?

Ponder this. Humans are born to be intelligent. We have the most remarkable brains. Each of them, literally, an example of the most complex organism in the entire universe.

The scale of the brain is mind-blowing. We each have more neurons – the on-off switches in the brain – than all the trees in all the forests of both North and South America combined. That’s not even the most significant fact. We each have more synapses – potential neural connections – than all the leaves in all the forests right across the world!

Well, our ancestors have been around for a hell of a long time. We are, as it were, at the leading edge of evolution.