What schools don’t teach you
For long what schools don’t teach you the skills that you need in order to be successful in the 21st century. The education, schooling system is currently not able to synchronize with the needs of workforce demographics.
The education system is the human-created system like any other – for instance political, cultural or economical. A system is a set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network that is creating a complex whole.
A system must have its inputs, then it’s that set of interconnected, interacting nodes and then the system produces certain outputs. Inputs are a set of demands that stakeholders have on the system. In the education system, these are mostly the expectations of students, teacher’s labor unions, education committees, government bodies and local governments, parents of students or employers.
Schools are most of all a system
What schools don’t teach you and why – it’s probably because of systemic decision making.
The system and its decision-makers must take all these demands into account and many times they shape its behaving that is uplifting certain particular interests – thus saying that an education system may be a zero-sum game.
For instance, as a decision-maker, you will hold the case for parents that want all their children to become lawyers or doctors.
Law faculties will become packed with students and suddenly we will have a lot of lawyers on the job market that won’t be able to find a job and will be waiting tables in the ending. So, seemingly parents gained from decision making, but employees certainly did not.
Well, maybe that instance is not the best, because in this case seemingly everybody has lost.
Let’s say companies (employers) lobby that the schooling system sells cheap fast food at lunch. This is certainly good for corporations that sell their products in schools and schools are getting commissions out of these sales, but students are losing on the side of health since they’re accumulating predispositions for future health problems – obesity, cardiovascular problems from eating cheap food.
What schools don’t teach you – linking dataism
One of the most common-sense values for the education system is to prepare a future worker for the job market – so he or she delivers value to this market.
But, the education system fails to deliver the outputs we desire for the job market and societal upheaval at the beginning of the 21st century. But, why is that?
One theory that could be used to describe this state is the theory of dataism.
Dataism has one of the most explanations in Yuval Harari’s book Home Deus: In this book, Yuval Noah Harari takes the idea of Dataism in a historical context. He argues that all competing political or social structures can be seen as data processing systems: “Dataism declares that the universe consists of data flows, and the value of any phenomenon or entity is determined by its contribution to data processing.
What schools don’t teach depends on the inability to interpret data
Harari posits that “we may interpret the entire human species as a single data processing system, with individual humans serving as its chips.” – Wikipedia
He then argues that the whole of human history can be read as a process of improving the efficiency of this system by increasing the number and variety of processors/chips (humans) in the system, increasing the number of connections between the processors and increasing the freedom of movement along with existing connections.
In the past the world before the renaissance and the enlightenment era, namely middle ages – human-created organizations as self – standing fortresses, disconnected from one another. Due to the lack of interconnectivity, there was simply not enough data produced among human nodes – this is when you conceive a human being as a simple data processor.
There was no internet, freedom of movement and exchange, logistical – distance problems that were creating natural barriers to the exchange of information and knowledge.
Besides, organizations conducted secretive policies and privileged caste system when it comes to access to information and knowledge. The genius loci of knowledge and information of past were enrooted in believing a static, everlasting world of order – the order created by GOD, where an individual had limited cognitive ability to comprehend the nature of this order.
This cognitive ability is not only forbidding you to explore and learn about this order but at certain point, it is commanding you to stop researching.
Started from…It’s not our business to know who God is or where does it come from!
This was true both for priests, aristocrats, and bourgeoisie as it was for peasants and merchants. However, the more privileged castes just knew better.
In the system where not a lot was changing due to deterministic philosophy or lack of interconnectivity – the available information was stored in institutions called universities
A university of the Middle Ages was an institution to store and to preserve the information necessary to back the natural God’s order, in another word the stability of the caste system.
It had no intention of developing technologies and new disrupting ideas that could potentially go wrong from this natural order. Its goal was to prepare an elitist that knows God’s order and thus final invariable states of matters.
In such a setup the education and the education system can’t keep up (needs of reforms) with data inflow of the human-created systems. Because data processing is relatively stable or growing very slightly.
But, with globalism, a free exchange of information, goods and mostly the development of information and communication technologies this has changed dramatically – we don’t need to speak about that anymore.
Last to dataism linking…
Networking back to dataism – there’s simply much more data that we hold accountable in the contemporary world, where education systems simple were no able to process that so far.
And there are definitely more arguments and reasons for this lacking of the education system, but this is a very intriguing contemporary view – the link to dataism.
The general problem with having too much data is the ability to focus on the important set of data and to avoid the echo – background.
This is a general principle and it’s of crucial importance for the future. We have to focus on the important stuff and ignore many even seemingly good ideas that make sense.
This was life’s philosophy of Steve Jobs.
He has said:
People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. <quote>
The problem of the education system not delivering for the needs of the 21st-century economy is even more complicated, but this hypothesis coming from dataism is overall a good pointer. It shows us what is contemporary curriculum not focusing on and it fails to deliver.
The best shot you got is to learn all your life
What schools don’t teach you – The list
Learning how to learn & Think critically
Learning how to learn & think critically– one thing that is certain is that the job market will change tremendously because of technologies like artificial intelligence and automation. The future worker will have to adapt and continue learning.
Who will want to thrive on the job market will have to continue learning… On one side we will have to learn how to process important information from the background – focus learning on what is important.
On the other hand, things like super learning – learning fast with a help of techniques will be also an important part of this skill to use techniques to learn faster, more effectively, to memorize better and etc.
Mental & Emotional health
Mental & emotional health – This is another niche where schools are doing very little and it’s of crucial importance. Since many people will have to keep adapting, reinventing themselves every 10 years or so, especially when we age – this might become harder and harder for some people.
People have to be mentally prepared to learn all their lives. The same goes for emotional intelligence.
People who have high EQ are usually thriving better in societies than people who have low EQ. It’s crucial to learn how to work in teams – these skills will be hardly automatized by artificial intelligence.
Financial education – as our economic and social systems will keep on changing due to the surge of AI and automation technologies people will find themselves more in the situation of transition.
Your current job position might become obsolete due to technological change and you will need time to re-educate yourself and gain skills that will get you employed again.
This will require time and since bills just won’t wait, there will be a need to educate yourself financially in either building a cushion – a reserve fund from which you can live off while you are in transition or you build additional cashflows that support you. It’s very probable that 9 to 5 jobs are going to become deprecated. It’s more probable that future workers will have 3 or more incomes. In the morning John works as a freelance writer.
He rents his 2-bedroom apartment downtown and in the afternoon he works as an Uber taxi driver. He also has a Facebook shop where sells products and his being paid in cryptocurrency Libra. For the 21st century, you need to understand the economy, principles portrayed in Kiyosaki’s rich dad poor dad and the likes.
What Schools don’t teach you – work in teams
Work in teams – everything you work on it’s usually quite big that you can’t do it yourself, but you have to work in teams.
This is linked to emotional intelligence as well, but the ability to understand your part in a team is of crucial importance. Schools have not been focusing on this crucial part yet and this needs to change.
Entrepreneurship & Project learning
Entrepreneurship & Project learning – Entrepreneurship means to be skilled in many fields and particularly to be able to manage and focus on big goals. The design of schools is still mostly so you end up with a specialized degree that lets you operate in some field. We, humans, specialize in the job market and schooling is designed for this specialization.
But, specialization very vulnerable to automation. Who’s repeating herself might lose her job – repetitive actions are not for humans.
Entrepreneurs are hard to be automized because they appear in many parts of the product’s or service life – cycle. They shape things, a lot of times with their creative geniuses. Entrepreneurs are more life hunters-gatherers than specialized farmers. The set of skills is just very diverse.
Besides entrepreneurship helps schools to gather better knowledge since they can extract it from their own entrepreneurial experience. Best universities are already transferring to be entrepreneurial, but in our opinion, this transition is still not enough.
Learning creativity, peer to peer learning
Learning creativity, peer to peer learning – creativity is connecting things and coming with unique, innovative solutions based on different contexts. We should teach creativity throughout schooling life – cycle, starting with kindergarten.
A kid should learn how to imagine a thing or set of things using her or his own imagination power. Then she should learn to take any action – to create. She experiments tries and fails. We should encourage failures like a matter of the programmer’s job.
A mistake is not a failure but a navigation marker that tells you to have to adjust your course of action. Then you share your work and you receive feedback.
Upon this feedback, you can reflect and perfect your creation. In this design, teachers should become more like mentors, peers, overseers than just workers who are attempting to spill some information into kids’ heads.
There are more but if we could effectively incorporate these six spheres into curriculums – it’d have been a disruption for the true needs of the 21st century.
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