Giving Compass' Take:

• Rebecca Winthrop describes "leapfrogging" — the ability to make nonlinear, rapid progress — and how it applies to helping young people achieve their goals.

• What are those in the sector doing to accelerate new ideas and get away from the status quo? How can philanthropy help to support student growth? 

• Read more about what it will take to create a fresh approach to education.

Educational progress around the world has tended to focus sequentially on access, quality, and relevance—in that order. Education systems first aim to get all learners into the classroom before considering whether they are actually learning anything at their desks. It is not until much later — indeed, until quite recently — that policymakers may question the relevance of that learning to students’ lives ...

To achieve the sort of learning that students across the world both need and deserve, we must jettison this stepwise model of educational progress and make room for an entirely new mental model: leapfrogging.

What, therefore, do we mean by leapfrogging in education? Leapfrogging, often described as the ability to jump ahead or make rapid and nonlinear progress, is not well defined in the education literature. Sometimes, in the business literature, it is associated with innovation that disrupts existing paradigms rather than sustains them in a different form. More frequently, leapfrogging is used colloquially to describe examples of rapid change.

In one of the few previous explorations of leapfrogging in education, John Moravec and Arthur Hawkins argue that a true leap is not merely adding new skills to an existing system but rethinking education systems altogether.

Read the full article about "leapfrogging" in education by Rebecca Winthrop at Stanford Social Innovation Review.