Having a pedagogical background (i.e. apart from being a Geographer, I also trained as secondary teacher and spent time teaching in central London…) I see that there is a considerable need to ensure that we focus on the education, training, and development of the coming generation(s) for they will be our employees before we know it…
With that in mind I recently watched a TED talk by Conrad Wolfram (i.e. from the Wolfram Alpha fame) and it had some interesting things to say about the education of our children – focusing on Maths (or Math for those from the US). You can find the talk here.
There are two things that I thought about when watching the video:
- Knowing that there has been a drop in students taking up Maths, Science, and ICT subjects at school, whatever we can do the increase the adoption should be looked into further (such as the ideas Conrad proposes – i.e. more teaching of Math(s) and less teaching of calculating); and
- The next generation of employees (even some of the current) are complete digital natives – they do not know life before having access to computers… however they are not all ICT qualified – they are digital operators, not all knowledge workers.
To enable us to grow our economy (and diversify it) we need to look at developing more of a knowledge economy and we need to have the future employees with the skills to participate in it. So I’m all for other ways of helping students being encouraged to take up the ‘hard subjects’… any thoughts of if this might be an approach that is suitable?