Great article Tom. As an educator, I agree with you on all fronts. Our educational system, like our other more monolithic public organizations has shown that it is incapable of dealing with the pace of change, and unwilling to shift its position in the transition from what schools used to do (and are used to doing) to what we need them to accomplish for our children.
This requires a total re-visioning of the purpose of school in our time. I refer back frequently to the work of Graham Brown-Martin when I contemplate this. Before we think about what and how we want schools to do, we need to think about why we want them to do it, and what we hope to accomplish in our communities/world through education.
I feel very strongly that human connectivity (of the non-tech variety) is the urgent need, and I agree with the skills you highlight. I would suggest that they add up to the potential to effectively collaborate, problem-solve, and compromise, which will become increasingly important as we learn to share the finite space and resources of this planet.
The creativity element cannot be underestimated as well (and I disagree with those below who say we are born with the ability to do this). The scope of our dreams and their connections to our world and waking life are very much the result of the messages kids receive and the experiences they have. I know this as both a parent and an educator. Dreaming big should be everybody’s right, but context can severely limit this capacity. In order to solve increasingly complex problems, we will need to be able to dream, think, and imagine extravagantly.
In terms of the needs of business, education has been trying to meet these needs forever, and our modern system was born out of a desire to train more productive and effective workers. I don’t think this is or should be goal of education, and I don’t think our current efforts serve business or students well. I would argue that business shouldn’t set the agenda and should take a long look at the skills they really want as opposed to downloading content onto schools — both sides are left disappointed and wanting more.
Thanks again. I look forward to reading more of your work.