“When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school, it’s a wonder I can think at all.”
Paul Simon lyric from “Kodachrome”
#HighSchool #learning #education
What did you learn in high school that you use today?
Perhaps you use some household math. Perhaps, if you took vocational courses, you use what you learned in auto mechanics, machine shop etc.
Most of us, though, would be hard pressed to think of much that we use today from our high school learning.
As it turns out, high schools were designed more than a century ago to produce efficient workers who could follow instructions, according to Ted Dintersmith, venture-capitalist-turned reformer.
“Henry Ford did not need creative, bold innovative assembly-line workers,” Dintersmith said.
Maureen Downey, education columnist for The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, took on the topic of high schools in a January 2016 column. She interviewed Dintersmith as part of it.
Now that the U.S. economy has changed from manufacturing to innovation, have high schools changed with it? Downey asks.
Downey points out that most of us believed that basic jobs, such as truck driving and delivery services, were immune to change as technology advanced. But Google’s self-driving car and Amazon Prime Air delivery drones are changing that.
So that begs the question: will high schools change the way they educate to conform to the changing economy, and the changing technological requirements?
Today, a high school education is not good enough, in many cases, to land a good-paying job. Even some who graduate college are finding they cannot parlay their brainpower into an economically exhilarating career.
So will high schools become irrelevant? Will some college curriculums become an expensive luxury?
Let’s break down the concept of education. Throughout most of our years in school, we learn “things.” We were expected to spit back those “things” on tests, to get our grades. Now, with technology, the “things” we were taught are available at our fingertips. What we really need to know is how to take those “things,” turn them first into ideas and then into action. In other words, gather your “things,” go forth and innovate.
It’s tough to put a finger on those jobs that will never go away. Perhaps some of you have had jobs you thought would never go away, but have. Were you replaced by a machine? Did what you do become irrelevant to the company as technology changed? Or, more likely, did the company just find it too expensive to keep you, so it figured out a way to do without you?
All those “things” you learned help you in trivia games, but they don’t move you forward in a changing world.
Let’s look further into colleges. We are starting to hear that the liberal arts is virtually useless in terms of finding one a job. We are hearing that the STEM programs (science, technology, engineering and math) are the only really employable fields to get into. But we all know that not everyone is cut out for those fields. So what is a person who wants to study the arts to do?
There are many ways to earn money while one pursues his artistic passion. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You may find a way to work full time on your passion, and part time on your fortune.
We will always need people to do basic jobs. But those jobs hardly create lucrative careers. Are you learning to think the way innovators do? Or, are you just learning “things,” or how to follow orders?
Schools will eventually have to catch up with the rest of the world. In the meantime, if your school isn’t doing what you think is right for you, use your time outside of school to make things right by you.