An overhaul of the current education system is in the making: students are in a generation undergoing an education revolution.
To encourage this shift, the University’s entrepreneurial student organization MPowered has created the EDUpreneurship Bootcamp, a four-day event from March 21 to 24, in which University students will work in teams to create plans for education reform in local school districts from grades K-12.
The program is partnering with the University’s School of Education, Ross School of Business, Center for Entrepreneurship, Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, Central Student Government and the Saline high schools to host the bootcamp. The Gates Foundation is also providing support.
The event will be held nightly from Thursday to Sunday at various locations throughout the School of Education and the Business School. About 60 students from various disciplines of the University will compete.
On the first day, University students will be educated on the top 15 problems facing the education system. Education Prof. Donald Peurach and Alex Bowman, the director of community outreach at Chalkfly — a school supplies distribution company — will deliver the list.
On the second day, Dale Stephens, leader and founder of the education reform program Uncollege, will deliver the keynote address, and student groups will be assigned to solve each of the 15 problems. On the third day, students will work on their plans with various mentors from education and entrepreneurship fields before presenting to a panel of judges on Sunday.
The winning groups will get the opportunity to compete for a chance to enter into the Business School’s Dare to Dream competition, as well as an opportunity to receive feedback and resources from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Stephens, an education futurist, said making changes in education as early as elementary school will have an immense impact on making education a more individualized pursuit.
“There are so many simple things that can be done — from having students write down their learning goals to giving them choices about how to learn — that would make school more self-directed,” Stephens said.
Stephens also said the key deficiency in the current education system is the failure to provide students with skills that are vital for success in the job market.
“I think the biggest problem is that the system is designed to prepare students for the system, not the real world,” he said. “We go to preschool to get into kindergarten to get into elementary school and so on, (and) we hear employers complaining that they can’t find graduates with the right skills, yet we don’t stop to ask whether we should change what we’re teaching to make it more marketable.”
EDUpreneruship organizer In Jae Lee, a Business and LSA junior, said new technological updates in education are the key to enhancing a student’s learning and the classroom environment.
“I think with more interactive technology—I think it helps you explore the topics you want to explore, and more in depth,” Lee said. “(There is a) lack of innovation in how we teach students. For the past century we’ve had this same style of teaching.”
LSA freshman Omead Sinai, also an EDUpreneurship organizer, said he thinks problems such as education inequality and freedom in schooling need to be addressed.