Educating for the 21st Century | Big Think | Summary and Q&A

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April 14, 2014
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Big Think
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Educating for the 21st Century | Big Think

TL;DR

The demand for new skills is rapidly increasing, creating a gap between highly skilled individuals and those with lower skills. Education needs to focus on teaching 21st-century skills that can adapt to future job requirements.

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Questions & Answers

Q: Why is there a growing gap between the employment prospects of highly skilled individuals and those with lower skills?

The demand for new skills is rapidly rising, but there is a mismatch between the skills being developed and the ones needed. Additionally, easily teachable and testable skills are vulnerable to digitization and automation, leading to a higher demand for highly skilled individuals.

Q: How is the education industry challenged to prepare individuals for future jobs?

The education industry needs to focus on teaching 21st-century skills that can adapt to jobs that have not been created yet and technologies that haven't been invented. This requires a different caliber of teachers who can help students apply their knowledge in novel situations.

Q: How does technology impact education?

Technology has enabled access to the world's best knowledge, unbundled educational content, delivery, and accreditation. Students can access information from anywhere at any time. The role of teachers is evolving to help students navigate through the vast knowledge available and develop essential skills.

Q: What role does the business sector play in education?

The business sector is actively engaged in designing and delivering instructional systems and providing learning opportunities. They help educational systems identify labor demands and the skills that will be valuable in the future. This collaboration aims to bridge the gap between education and job requirements.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • There is a growing demand for highly skilled individuals, leading to a gap between employment prospects for those with high skills and those with lower skills.

  • Companies' success relies heavily on the talent pool they recruit, and 70% of productivity gains are driven by improvements in skills.

  • There is a mismatch between the skills being developed and the skills needed, and easily teachable and testable skills are susceptible to digitization, automation, and outsourcing.

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