Prioritizing STEM and coding won’t fill one of the biggest gaps in education
How are we preparing ourselves for the future of work? How can we as educators, innovators, works, parents, or students address that he nature of “human work” is changing to prepare for a future when the the engineers of tomorrow will need to do much more than write code?
Tara Chklovski, Founder and CEO, Technovation, cited the 2016 World Economic Forum prediction that the top three skills for 2020 are complex problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity. To succeed in the future, we will need to “do the messy work of navigating uncertainty, solving problems collaboratively, and anticipating the implications of launching a technology product into the world.”
At the AI for Good Global Summit this past spring, cognitive neuroscientists, educators and social scientists discussed a first step: Setting standards for complex systems-thinking and lifelong learning, the same way many countries have done for coding.
Chvloski also shared that The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has created milestones for collaborative problem-solving and is researching a similar set of milestones for creativity and critical thinking skills. While not an instant fix, it is initiatives like this that can help us prepare students to”do the messy work of navigating uncertainty, solving problems collaboratively, and anticipating the implications of launching a technology product into the world.”
Like a lot of working parents, when I’m walking my daughters to school or listening to them recount their days at the dinner table, one question is often on my mind:
What should I be doing to prepare them for the world they’ll enter as adults?
When my daughters and their peers enter the workforce in 10 years, the global economy will be even more competitive, automated and technology-driven than it is today. Computing will be faster and cheaper. Artificial intelligence will be even more powerful, complemented by sensors everywhere in our environments—making it impossible to distinguish between “online” and “offline.”
We each need to take action now to identify and develop the critical thinking, flexibility, skills, and strategies that empower us to create a future where technology and human work actualize a world where today’s students will have the skills, strategies, and optimism to “thrive in a world that may be uncomfortable, nebulous, and full of tomorrow’s hard questions.”