The concerns and countermeasures for future education
The emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) is causing significant changes in the education sector, affecting various individuals and knowledge within the education ecosystem. As we face a new wave of technological advancements, it is crucial to develop a theoretical response to address the fundamental issues and prerequisites that education is facing and to consider how education can better adapt to these changes in the future.
The relationship between humans and technologies in education has undergone a role reversal. Technology has traditionally been viewed as a tool for teachers to achieve educational goals. AI, manifested in the emergence of virtual teachers, intelligent peers, and intelligent mentors, is capable of completing a large amount of work previously done by human teachers. As a result, the role of teachers as educators, knowledge authorities, and management decision-makers is facing unprecedented challenges.
Educational scenarios are shifting towards virtual reality. AI technologies have a profound impact on students’ daily lives, and have also changed the ways by which students receive education.
Traditional classroom teaching knowledge may be replaced by AI knowledge. AI’s powerful learning and application abilities can not only answer various questions, but also generate new and more fragmented knowledge, promoting interdisciplinary interactions. This presents opportunities for promoting teaching reform in engineering education, such as “big theories” and “big courses,” but also poses significant challenges to the traditional classroom-based fixed knowledge system.
Teachers should pay attention to the role of students as the subject. AI can assist in communication between teachers and students, but may not convey meaningful symbols, as these symbols represent the complete presentation of human self-awareness in life. In this sense, teachers must guide students to use their inherent rational abilities, to recall and synthesize miscellaneous phenomena in their own way. In the specific teaching process, teachers should use their creativity, imagination, educational wisdom, and professional competence to effectuate the vivid connections between teachers and students, knowledge, and memory, to achieve a profound transformation of teachers’ curriculum, teaching, and evaluation perspectives.
Digital literacy should be cultivated among students. Teachers and students must first gain a deep understanding of the characteristics, principles, core problems, and application scenarios of new AI technologies, and then understand their limitations and reasonable usage scenarios by exploring their technological boundaries. The path to cultivating students’ digital literacy involves a reflective and critical approach to observing, imitating, and self-construction in real-world teaching scenarios.
It is suggested to emphasize the learning of abstract knowledge in students’ daily lives. The experiential knowledge conveyed by the education system through rational, emotional, and physical functions is gradually being replaced by AI technologies. Faced with this dilemma, abstract knowledge based on daily life will become an important type of knowledge for generating educational knowledge in the AI era, because compared to the human-machine relationship dimension of AI, education is essentially a social activity that highlights “interpersonal relationships.”
Meanwhile, educational knowledge construction should guide the development of a reasonable outlook on life in education, such as proposing abstract questions about “what kind of AI technologies can make life better?” This will guide students to integrate ethics, science and technology, life experiences, and various creative abilities into a comprehensive personal knowledge system. As a result of new AI technologies, there is a need to shift the focus towards education, human survival, and living conditions. This shift can help address the challenges arising from the underlying logic that current education faces.
Wang Shuaijie and Yang Qiguan (professor) are from the College of Education at Fujian Normal University.