Planning for Our Children’s Futures
What will your child’s future look like? Will your child’s future be the same as our world is now? Is your world the same as your parents’ was? Do current education systems prepare your child for a world twenty years from now?
On Friday, ORIGINS Education Team members traveled to Beijing Normal University to attend a presentation by Mr. Yong Zhao, author of Paradigm Shift: Why and How. Mr. Zhao, well known for his forward thinking in education and educational technology, and for developing innovative and entrepreneurial students, explained that current employee-oriented education systems are preparing students for a world looking for employees. We know, however, that our children’s futures will be full of artificial intelligence and digital advancement which will greatly reduce the need for traditional workers. What we need, argues Mr. Zhao, is people who are entrepreneurial.
In a world to be transformed by the 4th Industrial Revolution, human beings cannot and should not try to compete with smart, very smart machines for jobs. Instead, we need to be more human, creative, and entrepreneur instead of mechanical employees. However, the traditional employee-oriented education was designed to prepare employees, whose jobs are being rapidly taking over by technology. Thus we need to abandon the traditional paradigm and create a new one, one oriented toward preparing human creators, innovators, and entrepreneurs. In this presentation, Professor Yong Zhao discusses the why and how we can start inventing a new education paradigm.
As a parent and an educator, Mr. Zhao’s speech inspired me to rethink the education we need for our children to survive and thrive in the 21st century, and forced me to reflect on how families can best support their children to be successful.