- The workplace is “on the cusp of a major evolution, eSchool News reports, and educators need to prepare students for a future in which 85% of the jobs have not been invented yet and many jobs will require increased digital skills and the ability to work with machines as an integrated team.
- The changing workplace will also allow lesser-skilled workers to accomplish tasks with the aid of machines and AI and could allow workers to focus on more creative and critical thinking efforts when freed from mundane tasks.
- In order to prepare students for this future, teachers will need to become “collaborative mentors” who encourage the development of creativity and critical thinking skills through the use of project-based learning and the increased use of performance-based assessments that focus on individual mastery of skills.
One of the primary responsibilities of educators is to prepare students for future careers, a task that is increasingly difficult in the current changing landscape. Not only is the workplace changing, but the nature of innovation—and human nature—means that most students can expect to change jobs several times in the course of their work history.
Preparing students for specific careers, therefore, is becoming of decreasing value. Instead, educators must prepare students to walk on shifting sands, equipped with skills that will help them land on their feet no matter what befalls them. Teaching soft skills—such as creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration – is especially important as these translate to most jobs. These skills can be taught through a variety of means including fun activities and project-based learning.
Because the demands of the workplace are continually changing, students also must become lifelong learners and teachers need to cultivate that desire in them. For some teachers, this may mean a shift in mindset for themselves as well. The future is challenging, exciting and rewarding, but educators must also focus on their own learning if they are to help pave the way for student success.