The idea that manual work can be carried out by machines is already familiar. The increasing application of artificial intelligence to replace human interaction has been wide spread as well

According to Oxford researchers, 45 percent of America’s occupations will be automated within the next 20 years. With Amazon launching the first checkout free grocery store, it proves that more and more jobs are becoming vulnerable, impacting our future society importantly. What jobs will we have in 20 years from now and how does this impact our education?

Amazon Go Play video
Amazon Go

Sir Ken Robinson already illustrated many years ago in his ‘educational paradigm animation’  that our educational system is basically still based on the industrialization period.

Educational Paradigm Animation Play video
Educational Paradigm Animation

“The fact is that given the challenges we face, education doesn’t need to be reformed — it needs to be transformed”. Organisations are transforming into more open communities; ecosystems that co-create new solutions based on their members’ needs and societal challenges. How to translate this into the transformation we need in education? How do we make sure that our future generation is being prepared for their future role in society? Or as Global Shaper and Digital Leader at the World Economic Forum, ELP WINext’s Jan Scheele, mentioned at the StartupFest in Berlin “Why do children still need to learn French at school, why don’t we teach them coding”.

A lot of money is involved in education, which makes it even more important to make sure that every penny spent is worth it. Luckily in Western countries almost all children can go to school. But it is the quality that we need to review. This is confirmed by Montenegro and Patinos’ (World Bank) research indicating that investment in the quality of schooling is needed in high and middle-income countries because returns on education there are lower.

A real transformation is needed in education. As our future world is difficult to imagine and future jobs are not a reflection of any of the current school subjects, we should stop trying to focus on and divide-up knowledge. Instead we should focus on teaching skills and capabilities to create world citizens and improvers that can build the future and feel comfortable living in it. We need people that make connections based on strong analytical capabilities combined with clear reasoning and argumentative power.

Amazon clearly understands that people don’t want to be bound by strict structure; they don’t want to be controlled. They find their own way choosing how and when they feel ready. Our educational system needs to cater for this. Providing an environment in which children are challenged to develop themselves, being capable of making the right choices independent of the exact environment they will end up in.

Of course steps have been made to improve our education, but all within the same system. How can we drastically transform our education system, really preparing our children for the society that we don’t envision yet but that we are creating together?

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