In countries around the world, and especially in the US, the education systems are often in crisis and at best going through difficult times.
Remember the Whitney Houston hit “Greatest Love of All” where she sang:
I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Now more than ever, education is so important
And yet with the world and technology changing so fast, how do parents know what to do for the best?
The best-selling parenting book “Future-Proof your Child” written by Nikki Bush and Dr Graeme Codrington has lots of interesting but worrying points. For example, it is anticipated that our children will have had ten to fourteen jobs by the time they reach thirty eight years old.
Long gone are the days when someone chose a career and stuck to it for the duration
Often with the same employer and of course the pension that went with it.
The authors go on to say: “It is a future we can’t even imagine and we are going to have to bring up our children to be incredibly resilient in the face of change, and who love learning; they will quite literally be learning on the job.”
The book points out that entire new industries will become mainstream when our children reach the world of work, sometime between 2020 and 2030, including robotics, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, space travel and nano-technology, to name just a few.
The book “Future-Proof your Child” further states: “being an entrepreneur demands a very different set of skills to being employed precisely because there are no guarantees and because you are the master of your own destiny.”
It is highly likely that more and more will become entrepreneurs, often working from home
School curriculum that cater for and help these future entrepreneurs become more vital with this growing band of the self employed. Because of changing technology and economics, the corporates and companies can no longer promise a job or an income long term – there are no guarantees. Even today, the global trend is to downsize head offices and to outsource the skills or talent required for particular projects for just a limited period rather than actually employing the person with these skills or talent. This person has to become almost a brand in their own right in order to sell themselves. Today, as well as in the future of course, we will need to be able to reinvent ourselves constantly in order to remain current and employable. It is not just a question of keeping up with technology though of course that is very important too.
Automation is also another trend that will replace people in the workplace
Our education systems have to cater for a future which will change even more drastically than that of the past 20 years, which itself has been amazing enough. Creativity and imagination
will be the most important natural attributes out there in the working world so we need to nurture these. They are the two talents that cannot be replicated by computers, automation and other technology.
Our children are likely to live so much longer
That could entail high stakes in terms of finance, employment and health.
One school who firmly believes in teaching children a broader range of skills is Ross Global Academy. Ross Global Academy is a ‘Chartered Public School’ based in New York. Chartered Public School status means that the school is free to attend, but has looser governance from the state, allowing for greater variance in the school curriculum. Ross Global Academy has used this freedom to create a ‘different’ ethos at the school.
Their web site states: “By immersing young minds in a curriculum rich in cultural history, current world events, inter-cultural dialogue, and fluency in new technologies, the school prepares our students for global challenges by producing synthetic thinkers who can combine separate elements of knowledge to form a coherent perspective of the whole.
Add a nurturing of creativity and imagination to that list, and educators will not go too far wrong
Parents need to remember those two attributes of creativity and imagination for their children too if they are to give them the best possible kick start to the future. The authors of “Future-Proof your Child” believe that children will need more than just grades to thrive in the future; they will need these X-factors for success - creativity, resilience, a love of learning, relating to others and self-knowledge.
This could be a tall order for many parents and educators.