It’s not often that you meet someone whose vision, ideas, understanding and experience are powerful enough to turn everything you knew, or thought you knew, on its head. Grant Lichtman is just such a person. An internationally recognized thought leader on K-12 education, Mr. Lichtman is the author of “Moving the Rock: Seven Levers WE Can Press to Transform Education” and “#EdJourney: A Roadmap to the Future of Education,” and he has a message for teachers, administrators, parents and students: education as we know it is undergoing a seismic transformation and is waiting for no one. Mr. Lichtman further asserts that 10 years from now we will see not only a profound shift in the use of physical space and defined school hours, but also a conversion from teachers being providers of information to being facilitators of learning.

While we may have noticed that the rate of change in the world is unprecedented in both quantity and speed, most of us probably do not realize that schools are simply not designed to keep up. In fact, the education system has remained stagnant since it was first introduced 150 years ago. Have you noticed that the composition books, No. 2 pencils and rigid curriculum of our youth are quickly becoming a thing of the past? Are your children keeping track of their assignments via portals as opposed to three-ring binders? Schools are scurrying to catch up as the internet, computers and the remarkable increase of access to information takes hold. The question: Does this pose an insurmountable problem or incredible opportunity? According to Mr. Lichtman, a little of both.

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For the past six years, Mr. Lichtman has worked with school teams across the country to develop a comfort in, and capacity for, keeping up with our rapidly changing world. His work has taken him to large prep schools with multi-million dollar endowments, public schools on Native American reservations, inner-city and suburban schools and everything in between. And, while he acknowledges that there is no simple recipe that will work for all schools, the goal remains the same: schools need to identify and find a process by which to achieve their aspirations.

Mr. Lichtman will be discussing his wealth of experience and keen understanding of the complexity of the school transformation on Thursday, May 24, at 6:45 p.m. at the annual Friends of the Hillel Library event at Epstein Hillel School in Marblehead. An enthusiastic and energetic orator, he will share what he has observed and what he predicts for the future of education in what is sure to be a thought-provoking and fascinating evening. This event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP by May 15 as space is limited: call 781-639-2880 or email jrosen@epsteinhillel.org.

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