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Where is Education headed in the 21st century?

            I am going to take you through a journey on the back of a traveller that is old and weary. You will recognise the traveller and will know a lot about it. The traveller is on a journey, it has been to the past, is in the present and headed for the future and our traveller is asking questions of them all. In part the traveller represents me as a teacher, and as a student in fact the majority of us have all travelled or continue to travel on the back of the traveller an in fact are all represented by the central character of this paper (The Education System). .
             I aim to walk through part of the journey of the education system. I will wrestle with some of the issues that are being raised as we near the close of the millennium. Many are asking "Where is education headed in the 21st Century?" Many social and environmental issues are also tied in with this question. I will begin by looking at a brief overview of the history of schooling. Then move into my own story as a student in the system. I will discuss some of the issues surrounding possible directions for future education. I will refer to technology and its place in our future, the problem of social control, and notion of a "global community" as well as other issues in approaching education for the 21st Century. Then finally discuss the implications of these possible futures on my own teaching practice in the 21st Century.
             The story begins with Education System (Ed for short). Ed. was born with the rise of mass compulsory schooling. Ed grew in a climate where all members of a family contributed to the survival of the family. They functioned as a social and economic unit. Children were taught to read at the age of three, they were then taught to write and spell, usually by their mother or a governess if they were wealthy. Most children were irregular attenders of school with only three to five years of schooling altogether. (Whitehead 1999).

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