Jobs of the future.

 

This is a TED talk that’s worth watching, I think.

We talk lots in education about the jobs our students will enter into upon leaving school. We discuss the importance of fostering creativity and even entrepreneurship in students. So I was interested that, in this TED talk, those things were discussed but there was more of an economic focus than we tend to be accustomed to in the education world.

Andrew McAfee talks about the social disengagement of people now left out of the workforce, because their jobs have become  automated, and this got me thinking. Are we setting our kids up for failure by the way we teach? – Not just in terms of higher education or jobs, but marital bliss and having your say by voting.

On top of this, I found it interesting to note McAfee’s thoughts on Montessori. He seemed to find he was taught to engage with the world and investigate in  Montessori setting; yet prepared  for clerical work in the public school system. I wonder how true this is in the New Zealand school system? I have been told by a few Montessori teachers that their system is pretty similar to My-learning; I think My-learning might just have a little more rigor; in terms of assessment, perosnalisation, goal setting and timetabling. So hopefully I’m on the right track!

The talk  also highlighted the importance of the teaching profession for me, in the bigger scheme of society and economy. Definitely a talk to add to our ongoing discussions about 21st Century education…

 

Diversity

I watched this brilliant Ted talk yesterday whist getting ready for school, which really got me thinking. It’s quite long but, if it takes you forever to look vaguely human like me, maybe pop it on whilst straightening your hair!

It made me wonder…

  • Do we accept individuality? Encourage  it? Value  it?
  • Do we want to fix or treat or cure differences, when they are what make that individual who they are?
  • Do we value ethnic or cultural diversity but fail to value the fact the child on the Autism spectrum in our class can recite all the capital cities in the world by heart?
  • Do we comment on how we wish the ADHD child in our class didn’t have ADHD?

I’ve thought about these sorts of questions for some time now -in a MUCH less eloquent manner than Andrew Solomon! Prior to teaching I worked as a therapist with Autistic children and, as I spent more time with these kids, I began to wonder if I was doing the right thing. Was I just making these kids conform to the world I lived in? Was I making them behave in a manner that society expected and, in doing so, undermining who they were? Were they quite happy with the status quo and didn’t need the likes of me coming and ‘fixing’ them up? 

I’m still not sure what the answers are to these questions are but I do think we need to consider how much we value conformity and fitting within the box we label ‘normal’…