Many of our students are currently completing subject selections, considering the subjects they will need to prepare for future study and even for careers. Recently, I came across the following article by author Greg Satell entitled “These Are the Skills That Your Kids Will Need for the Future (Hint: It's Not Coding)”. If you have time, it’s well worth a read and can be found at (https://www.inc.com/greg-satell/here-are-skills-that-your-kids-will-need-for-future-hint-its-not-coding.html).
Satell’s premise is that students need to learn less about what we know today and more about future systems. The most important preparation we can do is develop their ability to learn and adapt. He refers to a study at the University of Oxford’s Department of Engineering which found that 47 percent of today's jobs will be eliminated over the next 20 years (http://www.eng.ox.ac.uk/about/news/new-study-shows-nearly-half-of-us-jobs-at-risk-of-computerisation). To prepare for this change, the study proposed that workers will need creative and social skills, requiring ongoing opportunities to develop the skills that machines cannot replicate, such as empathy, communication and collaboration.
Satell proposes that traditionally schoolwork had an individual focus, however, as the nature of work changes, the high-value work is being done in teams. He states, “The jobs of the future will not depend as much on knowing facts or crunching numbers, but will involve humans collaborating with other humans to design work for machines. Collaboration will increasingly be a competitive advantage.”
Our curriculum programs reflect understanding of what our students will need to be well prepared for their futures. The online learning platform we used in Term 2 has led to a number of teachers incorporating flipped learning. Peer collaboration is incorporated into lessons to foster the development of new ideas and expose students to opposing viewpoints and student reasoning is used to approach problems from a variety of viewpoints.
As parents and educators, we need to recognise that the workforce our children will enter looks very different to the one we entered and, therefore, our children’s education should be very different to the one we experienced. Students today need to be globally aware and competent, digitally savvy, engaged learners. Our challenge is to ensure that school and home work together to reinforce these values and together provide opportunities for strengthening the skills that are so important for success in the workforce and 21st century life.
Dr John Fry
Deputy Principal - Studies