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  • Writer's pictureHikmah Education

A Bet on the Future of Education: Preparing your Students for a World with AI


Preparing our students for an uncertain future.
Preparing our students for an uncertain future.

I. Introduction & Executive Summary of Hikmah Education.


It is widely understood that our current educational system is fatally flawed and must change. Every part of our current system is met with significant friction: from dissatisfied teachers, to overworked administrators, to disappointed parents, and, most importantly, disengaged and struggling students. Furthermore, the rise of open-source Artificial Intelligence (AI) projects such as ChatGPT or Dall-E shake our current understanding of education to its core and shatters our ability to effectively assess students and identify our future leaders, doctors, and lawyers. The terrifying reality is students entering Kindergarten today will be entirely unprepared to meet the challenges facing our rapidly changing world.


For decades, parents have struggled with balancing a severely flawed education system with the success of their own child. Many parents have turned to and trusted a wide variety of private education companies to ‘fill in the gaps’ of their students’ knowledge and prepare them for the rigors of a college curriculum. This need has been filled by multiple incredibly successful companies such as: Mathnasium, Kumon, Sylvan, Huntington, and C2 Education. Generally (and with their own flair), these companies rely on diagnostic assessments to identify key skill gaps in a student’s knowledge and attempt to tailor a curriculum and learning experience to effectively boost that students’ performance, academic achievement and, ultimately, collegiate outlook.


The problem, however, is neither our public school system, nor our private education solutions are preparing students for a world that no longer relies on information, but rather requires its’ leaders to be thoughtful, analytical, and rational. Public schools prioritize the understanding and memorization of information rather than a development of a conceptual understanding of concepts, as demonstrated in tests like the SAT, AP, or ACT; none of which require significant capabilities beyond rudimentary problem- solving abilities and memorization of key information. As AI continues its inevitable and wide-reaching disruption of nearly every element of our society whilst fundamentally changing our understanding of a persons’ role within it; it is up to us as educators to recognize these trends, stay ahead of the curve, and create tools that allow students to create original thought and navigate a world wildly different to a world they live in currently.


With this understanding, Hikmah Education aims to lead the charge in effectively utilizing AI in education to (in chronological order of priority and execution): (1) assess and create tailored curriculum that allows students to fill in foundational gaps and whilst specific standards for their immediate success [SAT, ACT, AP, STAAR, etc.], (2) begin to find ways to help students navigate a world dominated by AI by creating academic programs that emphasize critical thinking, creative engagement, and unique perspectives; this can be achieved by harnessing the power and functionality of AI tools to emphasize the importance of original thought and individual student capabilities whilst diminishing the importance of pure memorization or repetition skills, (3) utilize our proprietary AI software that can replace the traditional approach to curricula by truly tailoring the learning experience to each student based on their specific learning style, personality type, career outlook/goals, and educational gaps, and (4) provide a unique tutoring experience that mirrors traditional methods of teaching (such as the Greco-Roman, Arab or Chinese approach to teaching) by pairing a student with a single mentor for years on end.


II. A Bet on America’s Future & The Strauss-Howe Generational Theory

To understand the future of education, we must understand the future of America. The United States government and its citizens have a vested interest in creating students that are ready to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world. As nearly every citizen knows, the United States has hit somewhat of a crossroad as socio-economic conditions lend a hand to political and civil unrest. The unfortunate fact of the matter is students today are ill-prepared for the challenges they’ll face when they enter the workforce some 10 years from now. As educators, we rely on history to plan; we’ll look at that history here.

Authors William Strauss and Neil Howe theorized that the United States runs through 80-year social cycles and 50-year economic cycle, where underlying social conditions and the economic choices of previous administrations come to a head around the aforementioned timelines. This theory is incredibly interesting for our purposes as it foreshadows incredible turmoil and change facing the students of this generation. The next few pages highlight the cycles as we’ve seen them in the past, and how they lead us to today.


“That’s the true genius of America, that America can change. Our Union can be perfected. What we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.”— Barack Obama | Election Night 2008

A Breakdown of Social & Political Waves based on the William Strauss Theory

1780s

Founding of the United States & The Revolutionary War


Social/Political - The birth of the American experiment that prioritizes extremely limited govt, individual rights/freedoms. The power of the Central government was incapable of pretty much anything and played very limited role in the Average Americans’ life.


Economic - Though there was initial tension between agrarians/isolationists and proponents of participating in international markets, the government played an incredibly limited role in dictating national economic policy.

1830s

Andrew Jackson


Economic - In response to rising economic disparity between Northern and Southern States, Andrew Jackson essentially abolished the Bank of the United States seeing it as “prostration of our Government to the advancement of the few at the expense of the many.”

1860s

The Civil War


Social/Policial - The cultural fabric of the United States was literally ripped apart as a weak federal government bred little national unity and no national identity. Caused by slavery and state loyalty the Civil War gave birth to a federal government strong enough to enforce policies such as Reconstruction, anti-trust laws, and construct transcontinental railroads.


1880s

Rutherford B. Hayes


Economic - The economic fallout and weak political leadership following the Civil War was met with Rutherford B. Hayes and the 1875 Specie Resumption Act which piloted fiat currency and steadily built the gold reserves of the United States sparking a stunning economic recovery and giving birth to the Gilded Age of Industry.


1930s

The Great Depression & WW2


Social/Political - The severity of the Great Depression required the government to respond in kind as it rapidly expanded to alleviate the suffering of its citizens. Socio-economic mobility greatly changed as Americans from all backgrounds fought the Nazis and Japanese. For the first time, the federal government had a reach that superseded the power of the states, and would play a role in the daily lives of an average American.


1940s

Post-WW2 & FDR


Economic - The end of the second World War and the USs’ newfound role on the global stage gave birth to a government who supported its citizens’through education, social security and welfare. This massive expansion of the role of the government in the economy would lead to its involvement in nearly every aspect of a citizens’ life. As our government attempted to clearly define its role on the international stage, it also grew its economic impact to affect housing, job markets, and even food prices. This was the birth of the wide-reaching federal government we see today.

1970s

Nixon


Economic - The ‘Nixon Shock’ or when Nixon moved the US away from the gold standard changed global markets and set the stage for the booming finance sector we see today. The shift towards fiat currency created the means for venture capital, and ultimately led to the concentration of wealth near the top, and a booming US economy that many average Americans did not reap the benefits of.


1980s

Ronald Reagan

Social/Political - Reagan was one of the most consequential Presidents in US history, as he gave birth to a nation divided along political lines. Political views aside, his polarizing nature and political campaign created an “us vs. them” narrative that thrives to this day.


Economic - The economic vision and political philosophy of Ronald Reagan was the 50-year response to the Great New Deal. Significant tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and corporate incentives set the stage for the economic tensions in the US today.

2020s

Today


Social/Political - “A house divided cannot stand” From rising financial struggles to an evident political divide to a generation raised on social media. We have yet to adapt socially to a rapidly changing world. Evident dissatisfaction from our youth to leaders who are increasingly disconnected from their populace to rapidly rising global tensions; our society and humanity must adapt to a world that is moving faster than ever.


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Though there is no right answer to the problems we face as humans, change starts at the community level. We aim to turn our students into the leaders that will inspire the change we so desperately need.


Economic - Today we have an economy reliant on experts, a government that props up entire industries, and a wealth divide that leaves many Americans suffering while a privileged few live in luxury. From the stagnation of wages to the rise of the gig economy to the rapid decline in college enrollment our system is begging for radical change. The general distrust in our institutions requires organic change that the average American will be receptive to.


We foresee a future with less reliance on college education and a move away from corporate conglomerates via an emphasis on small business. A future away from institutions requires students to be prepared to be independent thinkers and capable leaders to tackle a rapidly changing world.


Students graduating high school today will enter a nation & world ripped apart by economic inequality, social stagnation, and lack of political representation. Our society today relies on the leadership of experts and a revolving door of leadership; leading to an aristocratic class that is far removed from the needs of the working and middle class. Political views aside, our current model is unsustainable. Our system severely cripples the independent and industrious mind and supports the Ivy League graduate. Yet, the United States today is showing severe symptoms of an illness that requires immediate attention. Social Justice, Far Right/Left Extremism, rising economic disparity and uncertainty, and the rapid decline in college enrollment are just a few of the symptoms. Today, we are a nation who’s distrust in established institutions has led to a disenfranchised majority desperately searching for answers by any means necessary.


As of today, our significant majority of our leaders are bred from an Ivy League funnel — 60% of Ivy League students are children of the “1%” and has become less of a force for education and though provocation and has become more of a way for children of the “elite” to socialize” — and those leaders become “expert” leaders in industries such as law and medicine that, though are in desperate need of reform, rarely find fresh perspectives from the industrious and entrepreneurial minds that permeate every high school classroom in the United States.


The massive dissatisfaction with our current system is begging for change, as the very fabric of our society continues to rip itself apart until a more equitable and productive socio-economic system takes shape. We believe that our nation will eventually move away from institutionalized powers and shift towards a nation that emphasizes small business, individual prowess, and ultimately the unique ideas and specific abilities of people. The United States was built for the people and by the people. The great democracy experiment will continue to live on with the vision of its capable citizens, regardless of socio-economic status.


An investment in us is an investment in this vision. Parents, schools, and our government will always have a vested interest in preparing the next generation for a world that is guaranteed to look nothing like our world today.


American values and cultural ideals will always continue to value social mobility, the independent thinker, and the “American Dream”. Our vision is to create students that can navigate a nation that is bound to change, to create students that are self-motivated, driven, and can contribute unique thought to a nation that so desperately needs it. Our vision is to inspire the future entrepreneurs, philosophers, and politicians of a nation undergoing yet another massive cultural, social, and economic rebirth. The success of the American experiment has hinged upon its adaptability, democracy, and innovation; and its future success depends on future leaders possessing those qualities. Our parents, our educators, and our government understands this; WE are trying to create it.


III. A Look at the Future of Education

The rapid adoption of AI software like ChatGPT or Dall-E has caused an incredible stir in higher education. Even in its infancy stages, these AI tools are already capable of developing code, writing essays, or creating drawings that are on-par with the skill sets of an undergraduate student. Professors, administrators, and employers are rapidly raising concerns about the integrity and, more importantly, the efficacy of a college program.


As of today, students are currently competing against other students to secure spots at top universities and eventually with high paying and prestigious employers. However, as the capabilities of AI inevitability continues to grow, students will begin to compete with AI for entry level positions across all industries ranging from computer scientists to paralegals.


Our long-term vision here at Hikmah Education is to create students that can compete against AI as they enter the work force. We aim to do this by cultivating a students’ specific talents and strengths, fostering original thought, and creating students that can be pioneers in their industries. As we leave the Information Age and enter the Knowledge Age, educators, employers and governments will value students with original thoughts and unique perspectives within their industry to supersede the capabilities of any AI. Humans will always possess the capability to “out-think” any computer. An education that can create students that are able to do will prove to be lucrative venture for both students and investors.


Hikmah Education aims to create students that can harness their strengths by utilizing a unique combination of an ultra- modern and -traditional approach. Throughout all human history, some of our greatest minds were identified by their mentors who identified and cultivated their students’ strengths and guided them through their respective learning journeys through years. From Socrates to Plato to Aristotle, to the Disciples of Jesus, to Maya Angelou and Oprah Winfrey, the invaluable bond between mentor and mentee has withstood the time of history and has given birth to some of humanity’s greatest leaders.


Hikmah Education aims to follow the models set by the ancient Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Indians, and Chinese by pairing a student with a mentor who can guide their mentee through their journey to academic and professional excellence. Our ideal program would pair a long standing student-teacher relationship [upwards of a students’ entire educational journey] with the power of modern technology [AI assessment and curriculum software that would expedite a student’s educational journey through a tailored learning experience and strategic emphasis on particular skills to hone in on what a student has shown an aptitude towards] to allow a student to reach the bounds of the ‘Information Age’ then challenge them to explore the boundaries of human knowledge.


By utilizing AI-based assessment and curriculum, students will have access to quite literally an infinite question base that will allow us to (a) identify specific strengths and weaknesses that student may have and (b) create a legitimate adaptive and tailored curriculum [based on specific skill-gaps, student learning styles, and career outlook] that will expedite student learning and performance.


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