What will not change in education over the next 10 years?

Most of us believe that children should be taught skills that they will need to use in the future. It is definitely important to make our children ready for the future.

The only problem is that no one knows what the future holds and hence it becomes very difficult to accurately predict the skills that the student might need. The world is not exactly like we imagined it would be a decade back. The problems and the technologies present now must have been extremely difficult to predict at that time.

So how do you prepare children for things that you can’t think of right now?

Businesses face the same problem when they plan for the future so its worth reading this quote from Jeff Bezos of Amazon.

 

It is important to figure out what are the things that will not change rather than try to guess the skills that we need to teach. This is important because the resources we have are limited and we have to find the best way to make optimal use of those resources.

There are some skills which will be as useful tomorrow as they will be after a decade. Those are the skills that we need to prioritize. Some examples of those skills are:

 

  1. Collaboration – Humans are not going anywhere. We will always need to learn how to work with each other for survival, sustenance and progress. Teaching this skill to children from a young age will ensure that they are able to live and prosper in any society.
  2. Creativity – The world changes at a pace faster than we can imagine and hence it is important to learn how to adapt to changing situations. Creativity in thought will help children jump over a lot of hurdles that we can’t imagine right now.
  3. Empathy – This is more of a ‘how to be a good person’ skill and there will never be a world where being a good person is not going to be needed. This comes with practice so its better to start early and build on it as the child grows up.
  4. Continuous learning – The skill of asking for feedback or reflecting on past work and then improving yourself based on it is one for the ages. It will be useful irrespective of which country/world/century you live in.
  5. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving – By the looks of it, the availability of collated data in the world will keep on increasing. This is visible from the advent of big data. There will always be need for people to use this data for problem solving.

This is most definitely not an exhaustive list.

The idea is not to get the perfect list of skills and then ignore the rest. The idea is to use this strategy to prioritize. This is to let us choose between something which is long lasting and something which might be a passing fancy.

Educators can use this to figure out what to teach children in schools. Politicians can use this in figuring out the kind of training that educators should be given.

This is no way means that we should not think about the future. It would be foolish not to do so. It should be given the requisite attention it needs. We have to figure out what is worth putting a lot energy into.

In the end, a big part of getting our children to be ready for the future is to teach them how to deal properly with the present.

Are there any other skills that you think will stand the test of time?

 

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