What lies ahead?
That is a question that is becoming increasingly difficult to answer. Automation, AI, demographic shifts and climate change are changing our world to an extent that already seems unfathomable and this is only set to grow. Knowledge that seems valid and valuable now may very quickly become outdated. Jobs that exist presently may vanish without a trace.
But if we are already struggling now, how do we help our children to thrive in the uncertain future ahead?
One way to address this would be education. As educators we need to help equip our students with the ability to thrive amidst change and also to create change. But how do we do so? Focusing on knowledge alone is pointless, since it can quickly lose its currency.
It’s dispositions and skills that matter. The disposition to continually learn and the skills of critical thinking, leadership and problem-solving will allow our students to reinvent themselves as necessary.
Are we creating the opportunities for our students to gain these valuable learning experiences? I’d say not nearly enough. Our laser-like focus on grades and teaching to ensure high-grades do not leave much time and space for the important stuff that will matter beyond the classroom and report card. While we may believe that our system has worked and continues to do so, let us not be victims of our own success.
For as the saying goes:
What got you here, won’t get you there.
The curriculum and pedagogy that appears to have served us well thus far will not necessarily see our students through the years ahead. And until we fully realise this and take the necessary steps to let go of an unproductive grade-fixation, we might be inching closer towards “too late”.