We Need to Rethink How We Educate Kids to Tackle the Jobs of the Future

In future, will we be telling it differently?…

“I was the first from my family not to go to University”

If my son says he doesn’t want to go to University.  I’ll be relieved.

I’ll give him half the money it would have cost us; tell him to start a business and travel the world.

Not all classrooms have 4 walls.

I’m passionate about education, not the education system .

For my parents’ generation, education was liberation, education was progress. Getting a degree was the only way to escape the spectre of poverty. Back then, success in the  education system  meant changing your life for you and your children.

But, times are changing.

Management guru Peter Drucker wrote, “the only skill we’ll need to learn in the 21st century, is the ability to learn new skills.” A  recent study  concluded that nearly half of the jobs that exist today will be automated in the next 20 years.

Think about how we learn at school today:

You go to school, the bell rings, you take a break The bell rings, you start class You open the text book, you start exercise 14.3 Write 5,000 words… if you write any less you get penalized You take the test, you do it on your own The bell rings you go home

In a world where collaboration , initiative and simplification are key, how can the education system claim to be training our kids effectively?

The problem is our industrial legacy.

School wasn’t designed to give our kids the best chance of a better life, it was designed to create factory workers. And, sure… our parents wanted better futures for us so encourage us to take MBAs or become lawyers so we don’t have to put 25,000 “funny feet” yoghurt cartons into boxes every day (as I did every summer when I was younger), but it’s still factory work,  meaning:

you do what you’re told, you follow the process, you get paid.

So, it’s this the 50% of our workforce (from the MBAs to the funny feet yoghurt packers) that will be automated out of jobs within a generation.

They certainly are the most at risk.

And, how will they react?

The yoghurt packers will become the next group of angry white voters to usher in another populist politician, blaming “Chinese” and “the brown people” no doubt The MBA will simply become the old honors degree and be rewarded accordingly. When I went to college in the 90s, a degree was still “it”. Then 10 years later you needed a Masters to stay competitive. Then the MBA… Then what? Rather than getting so damned educated we (and our parents) should have taken an Economics 101 in supply & demand before we committed to an education system that was out of whack.

I found this article below from INC by Greg Satell which continues the riff on re-designing education. Worth a read

Our education system was designed for the 20th century. It is largely focused on teaching kids how to retain information and manipulate numbers.

Full story here

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