06 Dec Are current Pedagogical methods in tune with the world around us?
I guess that this headline will immediately generate two questions for me; how long did it take to write it and what on earth are you talking about!
Firstly, I can confirm that I did ask Google to check the definition of Pedagogic, and yes, I ran spelling and grammar checks to correct any errors that I personally may have missed. Hopefully you will agree that I managed to use the available technology to ensure I didn’t disappoint any Teachers (Pedagogues) who may read this blog. Secondly the purpose of my question is to ask “What will happen when the jobs of millions of people are lost through automation and computerisation. Do current teaching methods prepare our children for the speed of constantly changing technology that will soon be integrated into the reality of our everyday lives?”
Daimler expects its self-driving 18-wheeler, now being tested in the Nevada Desert, to shortly be ready for the road. It is also estimated that Yellow Taxis, currently clogging the arterial routes of Manhattan, are estimated to see a 50% reduction in vehicle numbers and 100% reduction in drivers in the very near future. Has society provided an education which will enable the redundant operators of traditional trucks and cars to adapt and find work in today’s global information economy?
Steering away from the automotive industry most of us can now identify with the effect of document digitisation which continues to eliminate administrative positions in small and large businesses. Even jobs in finance, law and medicine don’t offer the steady career paths they once did. Perhaps the greatest future threat to economic security could be that our entire education system, from primary school through to University seems so focused on teaching skills that will soon be automated.
In the same way that universal secondary schools started at the beginning of the 19th Century driven by the move from farm to factory. Subsequently the move from factory to office in the 1960s and 1970s created a requirement for education after secondary school and thus became a tipping point for third level college/University enrolment. Today the increasing use of Digital Technologies, Internet of Things (IOT) and developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) has highlighted the need to fundamentally challenge not only what, but more importantly how we teach our children.
In recent years, Governments have invested heavily in ICT in schools but international surveys from authorities such as the OECD have found that digital technologies have not yet been fully embraced and integrated into how we educate our children. Teachers do not feel sufficiently skilled to use ICT effectively and a simple example of this is can be seen in the use of Interactive White Boards as expensive projectors or replacement black boards.
If we are to develop our society and make it ready for the exciting future that undoubtedly lies ahead I believe now is the time to bring together Pedagogues, Industry leaders and Education Ministers to start a dialogue on policies and strategy to nurture the right skills. This will enable more critical thinking, creativity and imagination that can be