As we commence another school year, some of us wonder what the future of education looks like for our children.
After the industrial revolution gained momentum in 1870’s England, the need for industrially competent workers led to the state funding of education.The initial education system produced two different categories of worker: those who could follow basic instructions, work with their hands, and consistently repeat manual tasks; as well as managers and technicians, to design systems, configure processes, and ensure that the manual workforce undertook their work efficiently and effectively.
A great deal of change ensued as the industrial age gave way to the information age, , e.g. the Internet and online shopping, mobile communication, on-demand entertainment, virtual reality, electric cars; the list goes on. So how has the 150-year-old education system configured for the industrial age changed to suit the sophisticated and dynamic challenges of the information age? Interestingly, our modern education system has proved remarkably resilient to change.
The statement below provides some insight into how we will need to consider the future shaping of education in response to the developing needs of society.
As routine manual and administrative activities are increasingly automated, more jobs will require a higher level of skill, and more school leavers will need skills that are not easily replicated by machines, such as problem-solving, interactive and social skills, and critical and creative thinking. (DET, 2018)
We require an education system that can personalise the learning experience of every child and provide opportunities for students to work alongside each other in teams using their creativity, gifts, and talents to solve complex problems together. To facilitate this, we also need a team approach to teaching. Gone are the days when one teacher looked after a single class. Teachers and support staff do their best work when they work together in an environment characterised by collaboration, joint-planning and drawing on the strengths of each member of the team.
I look forward to resuming my principal tours of the College, and invite you to book in to see how we are drawing on research, and demonstrated best practice, to provide a stimulating, engaging, and 21st Century-relevant, educational experience for our students.
As we move from age to age, some things remain unchanging. Our God – the Rock of Ages – is the ultimate example of this. At FCC we ensure that the practises that help us to connect with God remain front and centre. Bible learning, prayer, and worship are as vital today as they have always been. This is one aspect of school life at FCC that we will remain.
Mr Doug Holtam
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