There is much discussion currently about the role of education in the current VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambigious) global environment. There are calls to adapt away from the factory model of education. There is a need to pull away from content centric models of learning transfer because, the argument goes, the world of work is changing and the demand is for skills.
Well I agree, to a point. On one hand there is a point to content - it is the basis for a lot of what we think, understand and can do. On the other hand, we have to pull away from content ONLY - towards seeing the bigger conceptual picture and using it to solve authentic problems.
HOWEVER we have to be clear WHY we want this. It is not, for me, good enough to buy into the new rhetoric of the World Economic Forum. I find it deeply ironic that the call for the dissolution of the factory model is ascribed to the change in demands within the ... factory.
The need for change is a more basic need. It comes down to a question of: what are we learning for? Are we teaching for compliance, with fixed curriculums and ranked success performance on a standard measure? Or are we teaching for individuals who will question the status quo?
We want a generation who will hold their politicians, their economic systems, the priviledged and the powerful to account. We want a generation who will care beyond individualism and for the system as a whole. We want a generation who are clear on their priorities and will act to realise them. Don't we?
So in response to the call to revolutionise education for a new economy, I would argue that we need to learn in order to become better humans who make the world a better place. Period.