Sunday, June 16, 2013

School -v- Work

I'm staying in London with my son, who graduated last year and is now working at a bank in the City.  We spent yesterday evening updating his LinkedIn page and talking about his first placement and how, despite having very little experience, he was able to effect change and turn around underperforming branches of the bank in the north of England.  The amazing thing to me is that many of the skills he is using now, those that are so valuable in the world of work, are simply those that were not even considered useful at school or university.  This morning I came across an article published yesterday by Sugata Mitra in the Guardian that sums this up:
In school examinations, learners must reproduce facts from memory, solve problems using their minds and paper alone. They must not talk to anyone or look at anyone else's work. They must not use any educational resources, certainly not the internet. When they complete their schooling and start a job, they are told to solve problems in groups, through meetings, using every resource they can think of. They are rewarded for solving problems this way – for not using the methods they were taught in school.
As teachers we need to take this on board.  We need to prepare our students better for the skills they will need in the world of work.

Photo Credit: fisserman via Compfight cc

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