At Georgia Tech Professional Education, preparing for the future is a top priority. Recently, Stephen Harmon, associate dean of research, and Nelson Baker, dean of Professional Education, completed an insightful essay on that very subject, which has been published as a chapter in The 60-Year Curriculum: New Models for Lifelong Learning in the Digital Economy, edited by Christopher J. Dede and John Richards.
In their chapter entitled “Creating the Next in Higher Education at Georgia Tech,” Harmon and Baker explore the role of higher education in a person’s lifetime, while exploring what higher education may be like in the year 2040. They describe in detail their efforts to realize these insights as well as their explorations for alternative futures of higher education, focusing mainly on higher education’s teaching mission.
Harmon and Baker’s primary focus is a concern for the individual as they explore the way in which their findings and predictions will benefit people. “We want to do everything possible to improve the human condition as the Georgia Tech strategic plan outlines,” they explain (p. 86).
Additionally, another continuous thread is the expectation and preparation for future change: how to prepare teams for continual change, how to listen intently to the needs of stakeholders, and how to be nimble as change occurs (p. 86).