In their book The Leader’s Guide to 21st Century Education Kay and Greenhill say if we want our schools to prepare students for this century, we need to have a clearly defined, personal vision of “21st century students and the education they need to get there”. We cannot expect lasting, pedagogically-sound change to happen if we are not sure what we are working towards.
According to them, there are a number of factors (they describe eight) to take into consideration in this vision-casting process. Here are my comments on / summary of the first one.
- What skills will people (like our students!) entering your country’s workforce need to be successful? You may have to do a little research by asking leaders from a number of different industries (that may employ your school’s graduates) what they view as the most valuable skill set for an employee to have. Beware of trying to define these skills based on your experience – I think educators sometimes have strong biases that are not necessarily a reflection of what is happening outside the realm of education. You may also want to ask these leaders what skills are new employees lacking – this may be painful because it will possibly show us in what areas are we failing to prepare our students for the work force.
To do: Unless we task ourselves to do the research above, it is almost guaranteed that we are not going to do anything about it. So please go to your favorite task manager and task yourself to do research about your country’s workforce.
Please share your thoughts as comments below. Remember, the 4 C’s: collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity.
To vision-filled, lifelong learning!