This week I stopped by the Tech & Learning's Tech Forum. I did not catch all of the speakers at this event but found Yong Zhao comments really interesting, although the sentiment did mirror Thomas Friedman and Seth Godin that;
Whether discussing students as entrepreneurs or employees it would appear (to some) that Education is not doing a very good job with finding students employment;
Whether working for yourself or for an employer there appear to be key attributes that will be needed for this generation.
Letting Down a Generation?
I just can't get the Suli Breaks video out of my head...
- 1 million views in a month
- 2.5 million young people unemployed
- Traditional ways of doing things are being "up-ended" and are becoming obsolete
- Every educational conference I check in on has the same message: We need change... and fast - Generation Jobless and Scarred Generation
A Definite Education
Education Decision Makers/Stakeholders
Teacher - Aperson who teaches, especially in a school
So, based on the dictionary definitions above, who is ideal group/person in education to drive the change so that the definition of education today involves;
- The "person who acts in a manipulative and devious way to gain advancement?"
- The organization that monitors standards, which measures and benchmarks against the status quo, as opposed to encouraging innovation?
- The person who gives information/instruction in a subject/skill?
- The person who is studying?
Perhaps there is another definition that we need to bring into the education debate, externalities;
After all each of the groups above are doing their jobs, and most are doing an exceptional job as per their training... but the landscape for students has changed.
Indeed if I wanted to be especially controversial, does innovation suffer as a result of the formation of Ofsted? After all Ofsted is only 20 years old... I think education has been around for a bit longer than this...
For a sector/industry whose function is teaching and which proclaims the virtues & value of Life Long Learning, the message from this particular lesson seems to be getting lost.
Whose going to be brave enough to tell the teacher or want to take a trip to the principals office to say " can we re-define our education?"
Everyone today is talking about Enterprise! Enterprise! Enterprise! (I'm sure not so long ago it was Education! Education! Education!) But who is to deliver this enterprise in education? If you want entrepreneurial students where is the enterprise curriculum? Where is the project based learning? Where are the STEAM classes?
And is jumping on the Entrepreneurial band wagon the right thing to do? How many unemployed techs did we have in the 1990's when this was flavour of the month? What about how hard a career path entrepreneurship is? Or how it may not be suited to all personality types?
If you want more enterprise in education then surely there needs to be an investment in training for this. The good news is that the training shouldn't cost much because the training manual and expensive consultants are not in place yet.
All that's involved is admitting we don't have all the answers and handing over responsibility... it may even involve handing the keys over to the students?! "What the heck is a Teacherpreneur?"
...But the answer just might involve more collaboration...
"Teacherpreneur" (Not in the dictionary) - "involves giving classroom teachers more of a voice in educational leadership, while allowing current educational leaders and policymakers opportunities to spend a part of each year working in a classroom with students"
Any change agents in education reading this may find "How to be a Star at Work" of interest. It's a 10 year study at Bell Labs and may provide some answers and a practical field guide to the Education Vs Employment Mis-match.