Article Date: 14th December 2018
Compelling video on where the education system is going wrong
For a few years, I have written many articles for education sites and they all have a common theme.
I stand on my soapbox and argue that the fundamental problem with education today is not budget cuts or resources.
The problem is that teachers teach for the test.
Grades mean nothing if every year companies are exasperated with the latest batch of graduates who are not ready for the modern workplace.
It’s not a new idea but never before have I witnessed a speaker articulate the issue as powerfully and clearly as Dr. Tony Wagner, co-director of Harvard’s Change Leadership Group.
He has identified what he calls a “global achievement gap,” which is the leap between what even our best schools are teaching, and the must-have skills of the future.
Every parent, teacher, and student should watch this video.
IT COULD BE the most important video clip on YouTube right now in relation to education worldwide.
I would even go so far as to say that every line manager, project manager, and company MD could watch it and then take a long hard look at the environment they create for their employees.
Your company’s future success could depend on your collective ability to innovate.
7 Skills You Need
The video covers the key qualities that top companies look for and how it contributes not only to the employee’s career success but also the long term success of that company.
Companies who employ workers to do but not to think will fail in the future economy.
Students studying today must realise that learning has to take place beyond test preparation.
The areas discussed are as follows:
1. Critical Thinking & Problem Solving
Teaching for the exam carries a fatal flaw. It means that students want to know the right answer often without fully understanding how they reached that conclusion.
The example given is that young students who can answer science questions correctly, struggle to even describe what they see when they look through a microscope.
A company that expects employees to mindlessly follow orders ends up suffering long term like GM Motors while others who encourage the workforce to think critically, cultivate innovation and success.
2. Collaboration Across Networks & Leading By Influence
Students need to be aware that teamwork takes place across the country and the globe, not just in your immediate environment.
Companies can tap into a global talent pool.
Students must respect cultural differences and diverse groups of people and co-workers.
3. Agility & Adaptability
This point goes to the heart of why learning new software skills is vital.
Students have to realise that career roles evolve. Many companies now have an annual restructuring of roles to maximise innovation and human resources.
It’s important to have experience of working across departments and not just the niche you currently occupy.
4. Initiative and Entrepreneurialism
For companies to succeed Dr. Tony Wagner states that they must create an environment that encourages taking the initiative.
Does your company say ‘No’ too often to trying out new ideas simply because they didn’t come from the top of the chain of command?
This western industry approach to business is why Asian companies continue to grow and succeed. Every worker at every level is encouraged to innovate.
5. Effective Oral & Written Communication Skills
The number one complaint from companies and teachers is that students lack effective oral and written communication skills.
“Your writing is fuzzy if your thinking is fuzzy. You must be able to analyse and communicate clearly.”
More striking is the criticism aimed at students and graduates who lack the ability to write with voice.
It’s essential to be able to write with voice, to be persuasive, and articulate a point of view convincingly.
6. Accessing and Analysing information
With so much information available, understanding what is the really critical information for today and the future is another very important skill.
7. Curiosity and Imagination
In a world where every product looks the same, capturing people’s imagination becomes increasingly important in the marketplace.
For example, many companies like to use infographics in the hope that they might go viral and be shared throughout various online communities.
In the video, the lecture concludes by asking the big question: What’s going to be the engine of the future economy if it’s not based on consumption?
Dr. Wagner believes it will have to be based on innovation. Therefore, how do you educate for innovation?
Educational leaders must answer the question:
‘why is it that the longer children are in school,
the less curious they become?’
The problem as always is that teachers teach for the test. There is only one curriculum, test prep.
This is the student generation that wants to make a difference.
If students can show that they possess the skills discussed, they will be able to achieve anything.