Teacher’s day – 5th September.
Dear fellow educators,
Jem and Scout want to build a snowman after it snows for the first time in their lives, but there isn’t enough snow to do it. Jem has the idea to build the base out of mud and cover the outside with snow. Their father, Atticus, is tickled by their ingenuity and tells Jem, “From now on I’ll never worry about what’ll become of you, son, you’ll always have an idea… I can’t tell what you’re going to be – an engineer, a lawyer, or a portrait painter.”
I have in my life of 50 years seen the professions of telephone operators, travel agents, bank tellers, video parlor operators, printing press managers going obsolete.
This paragraph from Harper Lee’s “To Kill a mocking bird” now resonates with each of us – the educators of today… It reiterates of the enormously onerous task that is upon us in preparing our students for the next century. From engineers, doctors, lawyers – we added the profession of software engineers over the last few decades. What about the next few decades? For students of 2020 school leaving batch? The workforce of 2030? The rise of entirely new careers such as data scientists, social media strategists, and UX designers (user experience – demolishing the hubris of the architects of user interface) or, some other? I have in my life of 50 years seen the professions of telephone operators, travel agents, bank tellers, video parlor operators, printing press managers going obsolete. DIY (Do IT Yourself) kits, cheap and accessible digital printing on any surface, digital 3D printers for anything from spare parts to making prototypes are available to amateurs and professionals alike. Control with specific skill related dependencies has shifted to variable, applicable, ingenious and idea based creativity.
The World Economic Forum recommends that the educational system be completely redesigned to emphasize skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, collaboration and digital literacy. It’s no longer about preparing kids for a particular career, but it’s about teaching a mindset, a behavior, and a skill of lifelong learning. According to the US Department of Labor, 65% of today’s students will have careers that don’t exist yet.
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