Futureproof your child
At a recent Gordon Institute of Business Science (Gibs) forum, futurist Graeme Codrington, education specialist Michelle Lissoos and parenting expert Nikki Bush gave an overview of how the world of work is shifting. We are living through an era shift – much like the Industrial Revolution that began in the 18th century. Deep structural changes in our society will leave nothing unchanged and our children will live and – importantly – work in a different place.
It is up to us – parents, employers and educators – to prepare all our children for the path that lies ahead of them. No longer can we prepare a path for them.
The three speakers all agreed that for businesses to “futureproof” themselves, they must put parenting higher on the agenda and that developing the right talent for what is already on its way will come down to a joint effort between companies, schools and parents.
Codrington lays out four areas in which the way we work will change irrevocably: The children in Grade 1 today will be in the new world of work in 2025.
They have been born into technology and they have no need to learn facts by rote (they can google them). We – parents and educators – have to create critical thinkers. Teaching needs to get way beyond the three R’s: reading, writing and arithmetic. Rather, we have to teach our children to curate and critically evaluate the highways of information they have access to.
South African schools, says Lissoos, have yet to make the systematic shift required. Education needs to be in the service of learning, not simply to get children through exams and issued with a matric certificate. Substitution – swapping a blackboard for a whiteboard – is not the needed redefinition we need to prepare our children for the path they will be on in the new world of work. Technology is used too often in education as a Band-Aid, when what is really needed is a structural shift to collaborative, critical thinking that needs to start with educators.