Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Its been a while

I was perusing social media the other day and came across an article from the World Economic Forum titled The 10 skills you need to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The article talked about the next industrial revolution stating in 2020 (the year my son graduates high school) and what skills employers will find the most desirable in their employees. It also had the list of those skills from their 2015 report.

A few of my student found me blog the other day and asked why the last entry was so long ago. A very good questions. It inspired me to write a new post.

This list of skills got me thinking about what we teach our students. As high school teachers we tend to be content driven, thinking our content is the second most important (since we all know physics is the most important). Well on this list of skills there is no content material, so how does our teaching translate and prepare our students with these skills? And how does their grade or success in our class or score on a standardized test measure these skills?

It was also interesting to see what skills have moved up and down in importance in the last 5 years and are new or have been dropped from the list. I am not so sure how some of the skills on the list, especially the two new skills (Emotional Intelligence and Cognitive Flexibility) would be specifically measured. Well it just shows that the “Shift Happens” video from 2008 may have been correct: “We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist, using technologies that haven’t been invented, in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet”. The skills and objects we teach every day in class need to somehow ultimately give our students the skills they will need to be successfully in the fourth industrial revolution.