At this time, our students in Year 7 to 11 have completed subject selections for 2023. They have been considering the subjects they will need to prepare for future study and careers. Back in 2020, I shared an article by Greg Satell entitled “These Are the Skills That Your Kids Will Need for the Future (Hint: It's Not Coding)”. The content is still valid 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
The gist of the article is that we need to prepare your daughters for a future where technology will likely impact on the jobs market in still unknown ways. Back in my days of schooling (wow, I never thought I would say that) the emphasis for learning was primarily on acquiring content. Since the proliferation of the internet where information is so easily found, there has been a radical shift away from content acquisition to a much bigger focus on ‘soft skills’ like collaboration, critical thinking and communication. It is easy to find information on the internet but without the ability to critically analyse what is being read, it is very easy to be misled. We only need to see the impact of social media to know that is true.
When talking to families about subject selections I often talk more about the skills gained from a subject rather than the specific content learned. For example, Legal Studies, Ancient and Modern History are great at building research skills which are essential for a great many university studies. Very few people will need to know what the Etruscans were up to between 900 and 750 BC but they can most certainly transfer the research and synthesis skills they gained when finding out.
This week, Veronica Miller-Waugh shared with me the ‘Queensland Workforce Strategy 2022-2032’ document.
I was drawn to the case study ‘Building the Foundation for Women in Construction’. Strangely, I was both disappointed and hopeful. Female participation in trades in Queensland is at 5% of the total workforce. Whilst I believe this figure to be substandard, it does highlight the opportunity for our girls to enter industries crying out for increased female participation. Girls and women bring unique skill sets to what are currently considered non-traditional roles. This is increasingly being recognised and recruitment programs altered accordingly.
Our understanding of what your daughters will need to be prepared for future careers underpins our curriculum delivery. For example, teamwork is incorporated into lessons which fosters those soft skills of collaboration, critical thinking and effective communication. Our continuing challenge is to reinforce our shared values and provide opportunities for strengthening the soft skills that are so necessary for the future workforce.
Dr John Fry
Deputy Principal - Studies