TRANSFORMING OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM
We owe it to our kids to allow them to hit the ground running in the midst of this new industrial revolution
THE fourth industrial revolution is in full swing and our youth are increasingly ill-prepared to take advantage of it.
Innovative organisations operate in a way that was inconceivable at scale 20 years ago: results-oriented workplaces are outperforming controloriented management systems, demanding the additional skills of transdisciplinarity, creativity and emotional intelligence.
Unfortunately, our education system is struggling to keep pace with the delivery of future work skills, constrained by the very systems which have caused the downfall of corporate giants like Kodak and Nokia.
As with all revolutions, embedded institutions find it the most difficult to adapt.
One way to enable the change is via an edict from the top, and David Gonski’s recent report on Australia’s schooling system may provide such an impetus.
The report calls for an adaptive and innovative education system generating creative, connected and engaged learners. It calls for increased focus on problem solving, social interaction and critical thinking.
The report is music to the ears of those calling for experiential entrepreneurship education to become an embedded component of our national curriculum. The entrepreneurial discipline is well known to be expert at making decisions under uncertainty, and the general capabilities espoused in Gonski 2.0 align strongly with the entrepreneurial method.
Many schools are working around the current limitations, delivering cocurricular programs and activities to develop entrepreneurial capability.
They are often delivered by passionate educators going above and beyond an already very full workload to deliver the programs, and the resultant burnout leaves promising activities without the sustainable resourcing.
Alternatively, external providers are brought in to deliver the education, resulting in a requirement for budget allocation and a lack of knowledge transfer into the school itself.
Neither are long-term solutions for a schooling system attempting to deliver future work skills.
Buried within the recommendations of the Gonski report is a call to empower school leadership to invest in new educational styles: to give principals and teachers access to professional development and the autonomy to determine their respective school’s path forward.
This will be particularly important as the way in which entrepreneurial capability is learned differs from mainstream pedagogy.
We need to invest in our teachers to effectively deliver the education, bringing them into the fourth industrial revolution as a critical contributor to Australia’s entrepreneurial workforce.
We can choose to view our future as one of abundance, with an optimistic attitude towards the ways in which we alter our education system.
Or we can be closeminded and ignorant of the inevitable changes sweeping through global markets and altering the basis of commerce.
We owe it to our children to be on the front foot, preparing them with the skills and capabilities needed to thrive in an uncertain world. The choice is ours.
Baden is informing the discussion on the Education Pillar as part of Gold Coast Way Ahead on May 15. Tickets goldcoastwayahead.com.au. He is also a key note speaker at the Myriad Festival in Brisbane, May 16-18.