For the Whole of Their Life.

Future-Focused Education: Thinking About the Way we Teach

Posted 29th May 2018
By Ellie Rolfe

Let's rewind 15 years, to a bygone era before Google, the iPhone, Facebook, Twitter, Wi-Fi, and GPS navigation. We could argue that these were simpler times in many ways but there can be no denying that the pace of technological change has been rapid. There are over 15 billion internet-enabled devices worldwide … this is predicted to reach 200 billion by 2020.

Which begs the question, 'What will the future hold for our current Prep students who will graduate from Year 12 here at St Philip's Cessnock in 2026?' This is the real challenge that education faces today. How do we as teachers prepare students for a life so different from that we see around us – for jobs and vocations that don't even exist yet!

A Federal Government report titled "Tomorrow's Digitally Enabled Workforce" identified some and predicted some global employment trends for the next 15 years:

  1. Advances in automation and artificial intelligence
  2. Jobs will be more flexible due to technology – working from home and globally
  3. Increased demand for entrepreneurial skills
  4. Increase in skills and education required for many jobs

These trends are predicted to impact 44% of the typical jobs we see in our workplaces, and as we shift towards ever increasing digital solutions research suggests that 75% of the fastest growing occupations today require skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths. This has given rise to STEM as a timetabled subject.


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Here at St Philip's students from K-8 engage in mandatory STEM (STEAM in K-4 with the addition of Art) activities. STEM lessons are more than an opportunity to stick some traditional subject titles together, it's a philosophy of education that embraces teaching skills and subjects in a way that resembles real life. Picture an architect, using science, mathematics, engineering, and technology to do their job effectively – woven together seamlessly to help them design complex buildings. As students work together in STEM to solve these real-world issues creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication skills are all enhanced. Skills which are much in demand in today's workplace.

In future posts we will share some of the many incredible STEM projects currently underway across our campus, there will even be an opportunity to get involved at the forthcoming Spring Fair. I'm very much looking forward to what the future of technology holds for us, and how this forces us to think about the way we teach the workforce of tomorrow in a future-focused way.

Paul Ivey

Director of Innovation in Learning

The Life

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