NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

How Will Changing Demographics Affect Education?

February 26, 2001

The proportion of the elderly in the U.S. population will continue to grow in the future, along with the proportion of minorities. What does that mean for U.S. education?

The Center for Public Outreach and the Educational Research Service suggest some answers in a new study, "Ten Trends: Educating Children for a Profoundly Different Future":

  • Schools may have to expand adult education courses, offer courses about aging and promote intergenerational communication -- while also ensuring equal educational opportunities between the races and closing the educational gap.
  • The groups foresee more personalized help for students on an individual basis and the push for continuous improvement will replace quick fixes and defense of the status quo.
  • Scientific discoveries and societal realities will spur interest in ethical studies.
  • Schools must focus on leadership skills and civic responsibility -- moving away from organizational mechanics.

Source: Tamara Henry, "Societal Shifts Could Alter Education by Midcentury," USA Today, February 26, 2001.


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