Preparing students for the future of work

November 13, 2018 Island Teacher

Recently I have written about the future of education and the challenge to prepare students for the rapidly changing sphere of the employment market.  There are many commentators who have started to address the need to prepare students for a future that  involves Artificial Intelligence.

The challenge of the future seems to be preparing students to be agile and adaptable and  to be able to work alongside this technology.

“education at all levels will [need to] prepare learners continually to reskill and upskill and to know how to partner constructively with machines.”

The above quotation is from the document The Future of Learning: Redefining Readiness from the Inside Out by    The changing nature of work will bring to the fore a societal debate about the role of people in the workplace and what it means to
be career-ready.  

What needs to Change?

Mick Gernon is the chief education innovation officer of GEMS Education. recently picked up this theme in a  an Op-Ed in the  UAE English language newspaper Gulf News .  His article, Preparing students for the future of work"   argues that a paradigm shift is needed.  He states that the  majority of school systems continue to deliver a curriculum which does not reflect the skills, literacies and capabilities required in the modern age.  Most of us would probably agree with this. 

What can a Class Teacher do?

While most of us might not be policy makers, we can still look at the important skills that are deemed to be important or likely to become important.  The second point to not is that skills cannot occur in a vacuous state.  Learners will still need to have a grasp of the essentials in order to engage with others and with AI technology.    So while our mandatory  curriculum is fixed, there is still scope for schools and individual teachers to address a response.

Preparing students for the future of work

We have all heard and read the headlines - "65% of current school students will be in jobs not yet invented (as per the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development)" or "85% of the jobs that will exist in 2030 have not yet been invented (according to Dell)" or even "50% of current jobs will be automated by computers and robots (per recent study at Oxford Economics)".



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