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It can be tricky to create, to develop or to try to vision normality in a way that can lead to a sense of “new” and the possible outcome of development of some sort. Within my work I have the entertaining and apprehensive task of trying to come up with new ways of seeing subjects and piecing them together to form something new. Usually this then takes the form of having schools from all over Europe to work together on a common task but with different points of view. One saying always stays in my mind when I begin this task:
“If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got.”
It sounds weird to say now but I do remember a time without the internet. It was a time when so much that we know now didn't exist and we could never have planned for. For me, my first interactions with the internet were when I began studying in Limerick way back in 1999 and how could anyone have predicted the change that this technology would have brought to our lives.
But yet it is the paradox that we live in whereby our future is forever predicting our present and how to plan now for what will happen in the future? And so I am beginning to think of a project, something for young people to work on and maybe you can help? The project is based around the idea of what 21st century skills are required for the future workplace for this is a core requirement of the new lukio core curriculum that is being renewed in Finland in 2021.
What are those skills that are needed for the future and which ones can be “copy and pasted” from the past? So many workplaces that exist now are based on working methods that will become obsolete in the future however, on the other hand, there are equally many other workplaces and job titles that have yet to be created which will need skilled workers, educated in the correct ways to meet these new needs.
These new skills relate to topics such as critical thinking, collaboration and communication mixed with a healthy dose of literacy skills, mostly involving technology and a good chunk of life skills requiring flexibility, initiative and leadership abilities. In the past perhaps these key skills were knowing a trade, following directions, getting along with others, working hard, and being professional—efficient, prompt, honest, and fair. Schools have done an excellent job of teaching these skills, and students still need them.
The future skills that will be taught should have a strong foundation in those skills that have proven the test of time, it is important that we now consider how to examine the connection between past and future skills and by doing provide the best future opportunities for our students. For my role I will try to look at my current workplace and compare that to when I first started out in professional life as a student in 1999, if you do that also, what changes can you observe? The future is indeed going to need new skills, now, just need to figure them out!
Voit lukea kolumnin käännöksen torstaina 7.11.2019 ilmestyvästä Kalajokiseudun printistä.