So, we’ve been reading a lot about the Tomorrow’s Schools recommendation to “shake up” NZ’s education system.

The Tomorrow’s Schools Review is a part of the Government’s Education Work Programme, led by an independent taskforce to set recommendations on the future of schooling. The official recommendation and report were released last week.

Pretty much everything you need to know you can read right here.

And while we’re pro any opportunity for young people to get  more out of their education, what we want to focus on talking about is why change is so important.

It’s the education of our young. The future of our planet and its people depends on preparing our young for whatever life has to throw at them.

Our young people face growing up, learning, studying, working, and employing in an age of massive technological development.

It’s already happening!

Three year-olds can operate an iPad. 10 year-olds can start an online business from their bedroom. 16 year-olds can design and sell an app in a Year 11 Computing class…

Education needs to keep up with the speed at which young people take in and retain knowledge, and it needs to reevaluate from time to time (maybe more than every 30 years…) how to best fill our young with what they need to know to survive their worlds.

As an example, in an employment context the future of work is drastically changing.

What once would have been an entry-level, after school job on a service station forecourt, delivering pamphlets, or at a Kmart/The Warehouse/supermarket checkout is now automated with customers processing their own purchases at “self checkouts” and/or buying online. 

This means that parents, teachers, education systems, and independent educations providers (like us) should be preparing young people for that change in the landscape.

Once upon a time, we gave our young people tools to finish school, maybe go through tertiary study, and settle into a chosen career path.

An emergence of what is being referred to as the “Gig Economy” and a rise in short-term/one-off contract work, means we should be preparing rangitahi in how to navigate those employment situations.

To put it in analogy form, we once taught our youth how to bake cakes and gave them all the tools they required to successfully implement their learning. Today we teach our youth how to bake cakes but there isn’t as high demand for cakes as there once was. Now people want cookies, and other baked goods, but young people don’t know how to make cookies…

As educators, and experts in young people and employment we too often meet young people who know how to complete tasks, but not how to navigate the community when it comes to managing their behaviour and expectations.

We can do more, and we need to. 

The future of our planet depends on embracing change.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *