A grassroots initiative to reform the public education system by supporting forward-thinking teachers
Educators around the world have begun to speak up about the alarming discrepancy between the demands of the modern industry and the type of future workers the public education system produces. The current public education system, which predominantly relies on a lecture-based teaching method, a legacy of the 19th century, is failing to equip the youth with the right kinds of competencies to succeed in the 21st century.
The most essential ability required of our future generation is ‘collaborative problem-solving competency’. Children in the 21st century will face unforeseen problems as societies change rapidly and drastically. In order to be prepared, they must learn how to work together to develop appropriate solutions. ‘Collaborative problem-solving competency’ consists of various related abilities, such as creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, communication and empathy, which are increasingly recognized by the global community as critical for success.
Our organization was created in 2014 by a few forward-thinking public school teachers to reform the public education system from the ground up, with the ultimate goal of turning public schools into an environment where students can develop their collaborative problem-solving competency. The solution we offer is the immediate and efficient implementation of the ‘World’s Biggest Class Project’ program in public schools by training the teachers directly and leveraging the power of an online networking platform and mass media.
In essence, the World’s Biggest Class Project is an unconventional yet highly effective teaching method with two main characteristics: 1. Teachers encourage students to engage with problems that their community faces and empower the students to collaborate to come up with practical and creative solutions. 2. The teacher, adopting a ‘flipped learning’ model, assumes a minimal role in the classroom, while students, no longer a passive audience in a lecture-based class, become proactive participants in their learning process.
Our approach bypasses the bureaucracy of public policy-making and instead directly supports the educators to achieve immediate results. We organize bootcamps to train teachers on how to apply the flipped teaching method, provide an online platform for teachers to share their experiences and insights, document and promote our initiative on mass media, and generally support all activities that foster a tight and proactive community of teachers.
Today, we support nearly 18,000 public school teachers in Korea who actively share their testimonies online and offline about the effectiveness of the World’s Biggest Class Project in transforming their students.
Watch our elevator pitch:
Where our solution team is headquartered or located:Seoul, 대한민국
The dimensions of the Challenge our solution addresses:
What makes our solution innovative:
Our solution is ingenious because it is designed to produce immediate and sustainable impact with minimal input.
Prior efforts to reform the public education system have taken a top-down approach that had many inherent problems, such as bureaucratic hurdles that prevent quick implementation and growth.
Our approach is to directly empower the teachers, the real changemakers in the educational system. Our teacher training program enables easy implementation of the ‘World’s Biggest Class Project’ program, which has immediate results. We also maximize the network effects of the existing teacher community by providing an online platform and database, which accelerates growth.
How technology is integral to our solution:
Providing an online platform that functions as a networking tool and a database is central to our initiative of supporting teachers. We currently maintain a website and a mobile app, called TeamBus.
Our website and mobile app UX is optimized to make networking and data sharing easy and enjoyable. As of June 2018, there are more than 18000 active users, about 25000 videos about school classes.
Our online platform has helped to create a vibrant teacher community and to accelerate the growth of our initiative.
Our solution goals over the next 12 months:
We want to continue to expand the implentation of the ‘World’s Biggest Class Project’ program in public schools all around the country. To that end, we plan to spread our ideal public education model, and to keep showing the vision we draw. For instance, The World's Biggest Class Project book-publishing project team recently has started planning, and try to gather make case examples and stories in schools.
Considering the problem we face now is not only task for Korea but the planet, we expect the successful solution for future education would change the future of all.
Our vision over the next three to five years to grow and scale our solution to affect the lives of more people:
We want to expand our initiative in the wider East Asian region.
East Asian countries already have well-developed infrastructure and highly qualified teachers, providing fertile grounds for our initiative to take off. Furthermore, since East Asian countries face a similar educational crisis (public schools mainly prepare students for the national college entrance exam rather than to teach critical skills), the successful results of our initiative would be highly persuasive.
In fact, expansion has already begun. In January 2018, Japanese public school teachers reached out to us to attend our training camp and to spread the program in Japan.
Our promotional video:
The key characteristics of the populations who will benefit from our solution in the next 12 months:
The regions where we will be operating in the next 12 months:
The countries where we currently operate:
Where we plan to expand in the next 12 months:
How we will reach and retain our customers or beneficiaries:
We will continue our efforts to reach more public school teachers by organizing more training boot camps and maintaining our online platform. We willl also continue our active media campaign to reach more teachers and other stakeholders.
In addition to our direct outreach efforts, we are proud of our organic growth. We noticed that the teachers, who observed the successful transformations of their students after changing their teaching methods, not only become an active member of the community, but also tend to voluntarily spread the word and encourage their colleagues to join the movement.
How many people we are currently serving with our solution:
Since the founding of our organization in 2014, we have organized more than 80 boot camps (with 70~100 teachers attending each camp) to train them how to implement the ‘flipped learning’ teaching method in their classrooms.
As of June 2018, we serve nearly 18,000 public school teachers who are actively using our online platform to share stories and to network.
How many people we will be serving with our solution in the 12 months and the next 3 years:
We expect the number of public school teachers using our online platform to reach 35,000 in the next 12 months. We believe this projection is justified given that we experienced tremendous growth since 2014, when we started with just 4 teachers and reached nearly 18,000 by June 2018.
In the next 3 years, we believe we can serve at least 80,000 public school teachers, out of a total of about 400,000 in the country.
How our solution team is organized:Non-Profit
How many people work on our solution team:18
How many years we have been working on our solution:3-4 years
The skills our solution team has that will enable us to attract the different resources needed to succeed and make an impact:
Not like other organizations on education innovation, Future Class Network has its own media power. Chanpil had worked as a TV producer in Korean public TV for 25 years, and Contents Team members are also from professional journalism field.
Collaboration with Media professionals and Education experts; active teachers, is powerful when it comes to set public relation between society and new idea. Easy to put messages, and build partnerships with stake holders such as policy makers, parents, etc.
FCN tries to connect media, policy makers, teachers and students tightly to empower the future generation. And the synergy makes real difference.
Our revenue model:
As the non-profit organization, our financial sustainability depends on 3 different sources.
First, the project fund. This is the biggest potion. Investors who are interested in social impact tends to work directly with methodologies. Second, the Grants. What we can spend to sustain our headquarter; Recruitments, Rents, etc. And last, the regular sponsorship.
So far, our finance has been very dependent on first type due to the rapid growth of our project. It has showed the big education changing demand from society, but it has its limit cause there is no guarantee to support the system which can manage the project. We were hurrying to react the hot calling, and now we need something new.
Therefore, we are planning to raise the ratio of second and third type. Now it is the time to set sustainable inner system to run and manage the solution we found.
Why we are applying to Solve:
Solve's network could help us to spread our idea to global society. We already proved The World's Biggest Class Project is model to lead public education to 21c. But due to the language differences, the innovation is slow, and it is also a problem for us to get enough translation services.
Plus, Solve can help us to get insights from real world. The 21c competency we try to empower is linked to the human role tomorrow. Solve has its wide network in different industries, and all of them critical view towards education is exactly our challenge.
The key barriers for our solution:
The biggest problem we have right now is the financial stability. Our growth so far has followed the needs from society, and now it is time to guarantee stable management.
We need to open our solution and let it has larger audiences, especially to potential investors/partners.
Good Network from Solve could help us to get higher exposure to get the needed help. We hope our solution could stimulate those who interested in change the world from classrooms.
The types of connections and partnerships we would be most interested in if we became Solvers: