Education has changed so much from when we went to school compared to what it is like to go to school today and prepare for tomorrow’s world. The students that we are teaching in elementary school today will be in the jobs of tomorrow, 60% of which are not even created yet.
Our current U.S. educational system was developed a century ago during the rise of the industrial age and was once the ideal of the world. However, when you look at our educational system as the world economy has changed, we have stayed stagnant and unchanged. We attempt to teach skills until mastered and test kids to death, yet students go out unprepared for the 21st Century. Statistics say more than 50% of college graduates can’t find a job. Why is that?
This reality made me think of a comparison of jobs of yesterday to jobs of today. For example, my late grandfather worked on the line at Ford Motor Company and pushed a stamp button each time a car part came down the line. How much critical thinking and problem solving was involved in that job then? If my grandfather were alive and were to apply for a job today, they wouldn’t give him a second look; yet, the education he received is not far off from what my children are receiving.
We live today in an information accessible world where children can click a button and have information at their fingertips. So why does my daughter, Emma, in 4th grade this year, have to memorize and study the spellings of all the capitals in the United States? If Emma wants to know the capital of Alabama she can ask Siri on her iPad. Is the rote memorization of “information facts” the best way to spend time in school??
A colleague shared this documentary with me on “Most Likely to Succeed,” and for me it hit the nail on the head as to what my mission is in education today!
Check out “Most Likely to Succeed”
Directed by Greg Whiteley, Executive Producer Ted Dintersmith