Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
– Psalm 119:105
Schools have an obligation to introduce children to things they don’t yet know they love.
– Gary Stager
“In the early part of the 20th century, John Dewey created a new educational framework… Dewey argued education should serve an intrinsic purpose: education was a good in itself… Learning would still help people get jobs, but this was an incidental outcome in the development of a child’s personhood… the pragmatic outcome of schools would be to fully develop citizens”. Lucas Zaphir.
“The path to prosperity: why the future of work is human”, is the latest report in the Building the Lucky Country series from Deloitte. Subtitled “The future isn’t scary. But it is misunderstood”, it seeks to dispel myths about the future of work. Three of the myths it seeks to dispel are that robots will take jobs, that people will have a lot of jobs across their careers and that people will work anywhere but the office. More importantly, the report argues that the big skills shift ahead is this – from hands…to heads…to hearts.
“Yet something new is also happening. Jobs increasingly need us to use our hearts – the interpersonal and creative roles with uniquely human skills”.
There is currently a shortage in supply of candidates for “head” roles, including in strategy, analysis, financial management, digital literacy, organisational design, problem solving and written communication. Likewise, shortages of candidates exist for “heart” roles including teaching, design, innovative thinking, conflict resolution and leadership.
I have always subscribed to the view that education is about so much more than preparing students for a job. It is about preparing students for life. According to Einstein, education is that which remains when what was learned has been forgotten. And yet how wonderful to read that an education that focuses on the whole person, including the heart, is one that will, according to the Deloitte report, best prepare our students for work and life.
The heart of our job, as teachers, is who our students are, and who they become, so that they might meet the big wide world equipped to make the most of their opportunities and live fully.