Adapting to the Challenges of Mega-Complexity: Quartic Education for the 22nd Century

How will tertiary education cope with, survive, and potentially evolve in the fourth-dimensional paradigm shift occurring now as we complete the first quarter of the twenty-first century? Super complexity in our knowledge-based societies has every appearance of galloping into hyper drive. With the advent of a globalized, interdependent knowledge economy, an international political ecology characterized by chaos and instability with the new alignment of world powers and the conflict spawned thereby, increasingly sophisticated digital media communication and its global synchronicity, and the exponential reframing of our frameworks of knowledge caused by unabated scientific discoveries and new technologies, we have reached the Age of Mega-Complexity in knowing and in being. Thus, we are compelled to think beyond tertiary education, hence the use of term quartic - pertaining to the fourth degree. In this century of transition, what new roles of intellectual authority and in what new forms of institutional integrity can higher education lead us toward the twenty-second century? This thought-provoking thesis of this paper makes a few simple predictions about how higher educational institutions that now exist could offer leadership and leverage for navigating a tumultuous sea of change. Fundamentally, these proposed coping strategies hinge on re-defining the purposes of higher education, re-configuring its operating plane of institutional existence, and re-conceptualizing the relationship between knowledge production and knowledge acquisition. The core message is a set of predictions that are concrete and immediately achievable steps for helping global higher education institutions not only survive, but also thrive in our new millennium.

Author Information
David L. Brooks, Kitasato University, Japan

Paper Information Conference: IICEHawaii2019
Stream: Teaching Experiences, Pedagogy, Practice & Praxis

Added on Thursday, November 8th, 2018
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