Did your education prepare you to read this blog post?

Preparing students for the workforce of the future is a process not without criticism ⎮1 min read

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“How to prepare children for the jobs of the future”

Specific examples of foolishness:

“65% of the children entering primary school in 2017 will have jobs that do not yet exist and for which their education will fail to prepare them.”



I’ve seen this dopey statistic (above) repeated in many places. At least the author cites a report in the blog post, but the article cited, just makes the claim without rationale or references to research. The report implies that this claim is related to automation of some jobs but “some estimates have put the risk of automation as high as half of current jobs, other research forecasts indicate a risk at a considerably lower value of 9% of today’s occupations.” Hmm. An estimate of 9-50% is … quite a range. The author also guarantees that current education will “fail” to prepare students for these future unnamed mysterious jobs. This ability to peer into the future is impressive!

Here’s a series of other claims without rationale or evidence from the blog post:

  • About a toy that teaches coding: “It’s a skill that you can apply to anything: you basically learn to think in a very logical and rational manner.” Coding is a great skill and it’s a great idea to get students involved in it. But it’s NOT some magic “all-purpose” reasoning skill that you can apply to any context. Critical thinking is context dependent: students learn to think like mathematicians, historians, artists, citizens, etc., and these are different skill sets.
  • Wowza. Please count the buzzwords in this claim: “Kano offers paradigm game-changing opportunities for teaching computer science … (It) also enables project based learning opportunities to extend collaboration, creativity, communication and critical thinking skills.”
  • “Danish companies … have been working together to introduce sensors into the classroom. They developed … a small white box that monitors noise, temperature, air particles and CO2 levels. Data is then fed to a smartphone app, so that a teacher or facility manager can monitor the environment and make sure it is as comfortable and productive an environment as possible.” I’m not sure what to say about this one. If CO2 levels get too high, does the teacher ask students to stop exhaling?

Have any of you heard claims about current education not preparing students to “most” future jobs? If anyone reading this knows any research that this “65%” claim is based on please let me know. I can’t imagine how anyone would do research that would help establish this prediction? Any thoughts?


(Note: I spotted this article in Dylan Wiliam’s twitter feed: 

https://twitter.com/dylanwiliam/status/1157307029431771136)


Originally published by Not for Points.

Rob McEntarffer

Assessment/Evaluation Specialist, Lincoln Public Schools