The Future of Smart

Just released! New book by Granmakers for Education's Dr. Ulcca Joshi Hansen

Our Education System Is Failing Because It Is Doing Exactly What It Was Designed to Do!

Our best efforts at modernizing education have failed to improve the lives of students or change society for the better. This is no accident: the current system is failing us because it ignores our deepest knowledge about how human beings thrive. Being “smart” today is still about sorting kids based on how well they absorb and retain knowledge. We need education to reflect a different set of values: interdependence, community, diversity, and deep, dynamic learning. We need it to align with human development, facilitate learning for different kinds of brains, and prepare young people for a changing society and evolving workplace.

The book explores how funders and policymakers can leverage the disruptions of COVID to build P-K through postsecondary systems in ways that reflect research on human development, learning science and the future of work and civil society.

Blending history and science with stories from inside the system,The Future of Smart is a must-read for anyone concerned about the future of education. Dr. Hansen explains the disconnect between what we want for our children, and what education today provides. She shows how we can build an education system to nurture the unique, human capabilities of each child, and lay the groundwork for a more equitable, just and humane future.

Order Dr. Hansen's book here.

We welcome you to invite Dr. Hansen to speak at your foundation or in your community. Please let her know of your interest here.

What GFE members are saying about The Future of Smart

I’ve known Dr. Hansen to be someone a step ahead, signaling where we need to be to support learners and the systems of learning that (should) support them. In this book, Dr. Hansen does it again – grounding us in what has been, making sense of what holds us back, and offering sensible and smart paths forward—if only we are intentional about remaking the learning landscape for America’s youth.

Gregg Behr, former Grantmakers for Education board chair; co-author, When You Wonder, You’re Learning: Enduring Lessons for Raising Creative, Curious, Caring Kids

At a moment when we are being challenged to revisit the very purpose and structure of education and reconsider who we talk to and how we engage them, we need a book like this to guide us. For anyone who is really serious about seeing education through a new set of eyes, The Future of Smart is almost a handbook of what positions you to be a real listener. Dr. Hansen took me on a journey and I was left with a new set of tools to engage in critical conversations about education, culture and the future of this country. In this time of COVID-19 disruption, rethinking education systems and social renewal, Dr. Hansen is truly a gifted and purposeful human resource.

—Peter McWalters, Big Picture Learning Board Chair and former President of the Council of Chief State School Officers

Clear and insightful unpacking of issues of American public eduation and a path toward a solution. The author succeeded in unpacking a complex situation. The connection between right and left brain, the honoring of indigenous approaches and the rejection of narrow "modern" traditional perspectives - especially the ones that contributed to big problems - is much needed to find a way forward. Bravo.

—Nicholas Donohue, former Grantmakers for Education board chair; former president of The Nellie Mae Education Foundation