How are we preparing our kids for their future?
STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Math) or more recently STEAM (added Art) is THE big idea in education. Tech is advancing at breakneck speed and educators/pedagogues are realizing the impact it will have in our future. Helping kids problem-solve, create, invent and ultimately become entrepreneurs is the mandate. A few years ago, the panic button was pushed. Performance in math and science was tanking. “If we’re to produce a generation of creative thinkers, inventors who’ll advance humanity, we need to focus on STEM,” is the collective thinking of curriculum designers across North America.
Education is becoming a business. Apple, Google, Microsoft are huge players vying for dominance in the classroom. Companies claiming to have the next big *fix* in education are popping up like dandelions across our nation. The focus: tech. It truly is an important segment, no argument here. I produce a magazine that’s loaded with cool tech.
Are we overloading our basket with the same eggs? Are we working too hard on creating the next big creators?
Aside: Did you know that there are now Gaming scholarships? Love it!
We often gripe about the system being archaic and the result of the industrial revolution. The premise that schools funneled students into the workforce as professionals and labourers is still obvious in secondary schools today. College or university math is still a choice that students make in the upper grades. Do we need distinction between college and university? Check out Singularity University for an innovative approach to learning.
Now, the shift is STEM. Same structure, different focus, less certainty. Add entrepreneurship to their already supersaturated mental radars because odds are high that our kids won’t be working for a corporation or a business. Trends indicate that most will be entrepreneurs. They’ll be calling the shots for themselves in a highly competitive market.
Let’s not forget the other important stuff. In all of this, how are the kids doing?
Youth are obsessed with their social media posts. The number of *likes* they get on their latest snapshot influences their self-image. After suspending her social media accounts, our teen shared that having to *compete* for likes and post a prettier shot than the last one was stressful, causing anxiety. She isn’t alone in that thinking.
It’s a dangerous codependent culture. Anxiety in students is at an all time high. Uncertainty and fear for their future is staggeringly high amongst students in grades 8 and up. There are more IEP for students with learning differences than ever recorded. Independence isn’t fostered – they still need to ask to go pee, have assigned seating and are quiet in classrooms – but independence is critical to their success within a decade.
TBH, education on health (mental and physical) is in crisis. Future expectations are high – are they ready to cope mentally and physically ready?
Support them wherever you can. There has never been more pressure on kids. Respect!