With the school system focused on left brain education, still learning by heart in the era of Google and automation threatening to eliminate many jobs the common question is how do we prepare our kids to succeed in the future? What school, social, cultural and in general life education do the kids need?
With exception a few rare schools where kids learn key life basics like:
- Believe in yourself and accept responsibility for your life
- The world does not revolve around you
- Do not compare with others
- Invest time in yourself and others
- Know what you can control and what not
- Be proactive and curious
- Mistakes are learnings
- Flexibility and agility
- Find the positive in whatever happens in your life
the most of the schools do not teach kids about social or valuable life tools or adequate knowledge to find a job. A few schools do personality tests that give guidance to the kids what professions are suitable for them and it stops there.
As 70 % of people based on a 2015 study (Gallup) do not really like what they do, this means frustration, waste of lives and lower productivity.
So what are the key issues that have created all this?
1. Most of the families expect the educational system to teach kids the basic life tools to succeed.
2. The education system does not really cater for or really pays attention to harmony among left brain work, creativity, feelings, spirit and social life aspects. With a few exceptions it is mainly left brain education, not suitable knowledge for many jobs, it does not teach people creativity and to learn how to follow their passions in combination with what they are good at and what the society needs.
3. Many of the educators are not really teachers. They study in the university and get a job. Kids learn better when they like the educators and they are good teachers in the sense kids are attracted to learn and they are talented to transfer well their knowledge. Consequently kids do not learn well enough.
4. With the technologies and the economy changing so fast we do not even know what professions/jobs we need in the future which together with a slow adapting education system we are producing graduates with obsolete knowledge. Moreover with the really exponential growth of many new technologies (Networking, Artificial intelligence, Social Networking, Computing, Data Analytics, Robotics, Mobility,…. ) the trend of many people graduating from the universities with an outdated degree is accelerating……
5. Our education system is based on correcting failures, consume and remember information in the era of Google which is not what the current and future economy needs (e.g flexibility, entrepreneurship, experimentation, creativity and learn from failures)
With the current exponential progress of AI and resulting automation threatening to eliminate millions of jobs the situation might become worse. At the same time the history teach us that the humanity has found always ways to create new jobs and when a job is fully automated we find other activities to create even higher added value jobs. eg bank teller jobs have been converted to more added value sales jobs, lost agricultural jobs have been substituted with industrial jobs and lost industrial jobs have been converted to information jobs. The statement this time is different has as answer that it is always different.
So how can quality education prevail over automation and create a better future for humanity?
To achieve that we:
1. Need to give within our societies much higher importance to the quality of teachers. Teaching is closer to an art than science and the teachers need to love teaching!
2. Allow for failure, stimulate creativity and focus on strengths. The most of the people on planet earth learn in school and in work environments to improve their weaknesses in order to succeed in life. In this way by focusing on weaknesses they weaken their strengths! Focus on your strengths.
3. Train people to be adaptable, flexible and to value contribution.
4. Change the examination system from learning by heart (we have networks nowadays to find anything) and focus in depth learning, understanding, ideation and practice through internships in all classes of the high school and beyond.
5. Accelerate change in the educational curricula using faster modern technologies.
6. Include basic life and social studies in the school curriculum
7. Moving from social networks to learning networks we need to accelerate learning through groups of people working together, learn from each other and use artificial intelligence to augment their knowledge. This is the move from me to we, scarcity to abundance and knowledge to wisdom.
8. Knowing your strengths and passions in life is important to avoid wasting lives. Knowing your strengths and what are best roles for you in life can support every teenager or adult to make the right choices what to study and what jobs are suitable. It will be great for people and society to have a process included in the education system to find out what I call the “sweet spot of life” in a few critical stages of our lives (before university, from school to work, when we have major professional or social changes in our lives). What we define as “sweet spot of life” is the 4 overlapping circles common area:
– Your Passions (what you love to do)
– What you are good at (your talents, what you are born with and your skills you develop during your lives).
– Supporting Beliefs
– What is good for the customer/society meaning a purpose bigger than ourselves and value producing.
I do believe that a system and process integrating all above in the education system will be beneficial for the current and future society which is changing faster and faster.
9. Last but not least educate all kids with the idea/concept that our human genius should not be underestimated and we will always find ways to complement automation with new activities/jobs better suited to humans as it has happened in the whole history of the humanity.
Thank you. This is what I think. What do you think? Anything to add?
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Mike Mastroyiannis is Business, Management & Executive Coach and Consultant for Business Accelerations, Business Transformations and Exponentially Disruptive Innovations. He has served as CEO of business units in Multinationals, founded or lead start-ups and serves in advisory boards. He can be reached through LinkedIn or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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