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Questioning academic standards in the age of innovation

Tom P. Abeles (President of Sagacity, Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 16 May 2008




The purpose of this paper is to show how standards drive what is taught in education. International standards, for example in the areas of science and math, and US standards such as the Scholastic Aptitude Tests become ends in themselves and drive the content of education at all levels. The question asked here is whether or not the current system of education, in an internet age, has outlived its usefulness. Are there other options and other measures better suited?


The paper provides an overview of the education system and how consideration is made to progress in a changing environment.


The paper points out that, as with addicts, fear of changing puts education in a spiral which could lead to a collapse unless the courage is found to make a transition from the present, age‐cohort‐driven model to one which acknowledges the differing rates of change inherent in individuals as they grow through life.


The paper challenges current paradigmatic thinking at a time when we have a window for change. It questions whether a return to the successes of science and technology in maintaining country economic/political hegemony may need to be rethought in light of the current world situation.



Abeles, T.P. (2008), "Questioning academic standards in the age of innovation", On the Horizon, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 51-55.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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