From the Superintendent's Corner
Teaching for a Future Workforce
Former Secretary of Education Richard Riley has been quoted saying the top ten jobs that will be in demand in 2010 did not exist in 2004. Says Riley, “We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist…using technologies that haven’t yet been invented…in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.”
It has always been the objective of educators to teach students how to think and solve problems, but never before has this been so important because of such rapidly changing technology in such world of rapidly changing needs. Today’s students need to be taught to analyze a problem and look at it from a variety to perspectives before committing to one way to answer it.
It is also recognized that today’s student can expect to change careers several times throughout their lives. This too, changes the way education needs to prepare our students for the world of tomorrow.
So what role do parents have in guiding their children to make the most of today’s education for tomorrow’s world?
Parents can help their children in many ways. One thing they can do is to recognize and encourage their children’s talents and special interests and actively find ways for them to become more involved in developing them. It’s fine to pick a group activity such as a sports team or club because it’s what all your child’s friends are doing, make sure to find the time for your child’s primary interests even if they are separate pursuits.
Travel and exposure to different cultures is a great advantage that parents can give to their children. Observe together how people live in different environments. Let your children see firsthand that there are many ways in which to live life, to solve a problem, to experience excitement.
In your schools, support programs in art, music, foreign language, and science research that help increase brain function and give students outlets for creativity and independent exploration.
Accept the use of new technology. It is here to stay and your children will be using it in whatever profession or occupation they select. That is not to say that you shouldn’t try to get the kids away from the computer and enjoy some outdoor physical activity regularly, but just to recognize that being technologically knowledgeable is also important for your children’s futures.
We can no longer predict that our children will grow up and pursue a lifelong career as a doctor, lawyer, teacher, or scientist. We must prepare them to adapt their careers to the needs of the future world and to be able to continue to pursue personally fulfilling work at each new stage or incarnation of their lives.#