31 October: Dutch DNA Future Proof?

Towards educational designs that match our strengths

Dutch DNA is well on its way to becoming a prerequisite for 21st century developments.

The Dutch, on average, don’t care much for hierarchy. We are entrepreneurial, headstrong, creative, open-minded individuals and have a long history of bottom-up empowerment. At the same time, we have learned how to cooperate efficiently, based on the famous historically developed 'poldermodel'.

These typically Dutch characteristics, that we call Dutch DNA, are a threat for the educational system and result in declining levels of motivation and a lack of differentiation. Meanwhile, the same DNA is providing us with endless new opportunities. Thus, our DNA asks for a new ‘educational design’ that allows students and teachers to shape bottom-up education in a way that motivates them to learn, to innovate, to create, to take responsibility, to co-create, to trust and to transform. All highly needed 21st century skills are crucial for all upcoming activities in the emerging future that is unknown, uncertain, fast changing, complex and challenging.

Many students, teachers and parents in the Netherlands are ready for it, but the educational system seems not ready…yet.

Let’s identify those characteristics in education, those that are also deeply embedded in our genes, so we create favorable conditions for national as well as international progress.