Monday, 14 September 2015

Why are we so reluctant to talk about the future?

Today I was sent a link to a Huffington Post story about how our children are ill-prepared for future industries and emerging sectors. 

There is no shortage of information and research to validate the growing divide between what our children are learning today and what they will actually need to know tomorrow. So why is it in the irrefutable presence of new life changing sectors including bio energy, AI, robotics, autonomous vehicles, aerospace, big data, free global wifi (bringing unlimited access to information for all), bio security, the decentralisation of everything (so long big corporations), 3D printing and rapid prototyping that we continue to teach and learn as we did 30 years ago?

Are we so deeply set in a legacy mode of thinking that we are prepared to jeopardise the future success of our children on the off chance we may not get a more relevant education system completely right? 

While most sectors are shaped by leaders and innovators, the education sector is deeply conservative, backward looking and headed by people who are highly risk adverse. It is a very brave Educationalist, Vice Chancellor or Government Minister who will put their hand up and say 'the time for disruption and progress is now'. 

The cynic in me looks to these individuals and sees they have a good thing going on. Holding a traditional view of education, steeped in the tried and tested sits well with communities of influence. These traditional communities need to believe that the world that brought them success will be the same world that their children will succeed in. To question the merits of a legacy model in a time when knowledge is infinitely changing and extending, would lead to messy questions about the relevance of qualifications and the very education stronghold of teaching students how to pass exams.

What if we changed the conversation to recognise our children will need to be problem-solvers who can find knowledge 'just in time' through a collaborative network of inter-connected sources of data and networks of people. They will need to be adaptable, resilient to the effects of rapid change and prepared to work on 'projects' rather than establish lifelong careers.

Which generation of parents will stand up to policy makers and academics, school principals and Government Ministers and apply pressure for change? Will the parents of today's 10 year olds be the change agents who rally together to force transformational change to our outdated education model? Or will it be the 10 year olds themselves who will simply create their own education pathways that bypasses the traditional education system to find more relevant sources of knowledge and more meaningful connections?

Frances Valintine
Chair of the Board at The Mind Lab by Unitec

1 comment:

  1. The strategies you have mentioned are good. You should know that planning about your future reveals how passionate you are to have a great future. Therefore, you should not be reluctant to talk about your future. The more you talk about your future, the more it will help you to make precise strategies to achieve goals in your life and stay successful in your both personal and professional life. Talented students who also come up with coursework writing help are very passionate about their future hence the stay on the progressive path throughout their lives.