Teaching for the Future: What Little Choice Do We Have?

At a recent workshop that focused on Inclusion, I was reminded of the latest World Economic Forum Future of Jobs Report that was published in 2016.

job 2020

I share this post in order to call to our attention the continual shift; as a reminder of the real purpose of public education in our society today. Education is no longer about creating and assimilating learners into factory and production line personnel. It is no longer the focus of a cookie cutter, a didactic model of teacher-centred, and content-driven learning. While many parents and educators still subscribe to this nearly two-century-old pedagogy, mindful schools and classrooms are no longer serving our students in this approach. As our students become responsible members of the post-modern world, we simply can’t.

I should be clear: I do not profess that we simply teach to the future (or the test for that matter). We should be using meticulously collected information to inform both our work and our teaching.  Data (like the above) should be helping to guide our focus and rally resources and supports for all learners.

One can reasonably expect this list to shift, yet again, by the time my current students complete their secondary school (2024 for most) learning experience.

My early understanding of Emergence Theory in education is very rudimentary. However, I have little doubt this is the place that we need learning and teaching to embrace. Understanding emergence in education is an important grounding for educators of the 21 century. To better “open doors for our students to walk through” and provide opportunities for them to acquire and develop the essential “workforce skills” of the new millennium, we need a new way of approaching and adopting learning and teaching.

Changing our lens and approach in our classrooms is scary. It makes the “sage on the stage” vulnerable. It requires a massive amount of personal and systemic trust. It’s a rethink of massive proportions. It’s a commitment to change.

But what little choice do we have?



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