Schools have always aimed to give their students the skills and knowledge to prosper in the wider world, although the approaches taken have varied wildly. However, today’s economy and workforce are changing at a faster pace than ever before and many schools are struggling to keep up with these changes.
Rather than focussing on one trade or skill for life, today’s school-leavers will now be faced with over a dozen different jobs across multiple industries during their lifetime – and that’s not a bad thing! While many routine jobs will soon become automated, jobs that require critical thinking, creativity, and interpersonal skills, for example, will be where the opportunities lie. Workers will be expected to apply these skills in different situations, including in multidisciplinary teams or as consultants in different industries and the chances are, they will be working in areas we haven’t even conceived yet.
So, what can schools do now to help prepare their students for life in the future workforce?
Aaron Tait is the co-founder and Director of Innovation at Education Changemakers and the founder of Edupreneur 2017, Australia’s first K-12 focused edtech conference. Recently, Aaron spoke at a Florence Guild event part of the speaker series narrative, ‘The Antidisciplinary Future’. The narrative explores how we can look outside traditional disciplines to create new pathways into the future. Aaron discussed how many new players in the global education field are making us think differently about how schools can be restructured to empower both students and teachers at a local and global level.
Aaron believes there are many ways schools can embrace new approaches and technologies to help their students achieve success in the years to come including:
- Using VR and augmented reality to allow students to ‘travel’ to other countries and experience their wonders. For example, ‘walking’ through the Louvre can help students appreciate the scale of each painting and to examine their texture and brushstrokes up close.
- Gamifying aspects of education, such as mathematics or geography. Video games are already being successfully used in some areas in schools, but their potential to engage students in learning, especially in STEM subjects, is only starting to be realised.
- Implementing ‘Deeper Learning’ curriculums which allow students to question the world around them, reflect on the values that drive choices in their communities, research and analyse the ways things could be done better, and design ways to effectively introduce their preferred solutions.
Aaron also shared real-life stories of schools and education start-ups from South Africa to the United States that are already reshaping how schools work, and how organisations like Google and Microsoft are making quality education more accessible.
Discover more about the changing role of education by listening to Aaron’s talk ‘Edupreneurs: The people changing education’ in episode 5 of our ‘antidisciplinary’ podcast series. You can also keep up to date with conversations with other thought leaders by subscribing to our podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio.