The Future of Jobs Report by the World Economic Forum predicts that 50% of all employees will need re-skilling by 2025 due to the "double-disruption" of the economic impacts of the pandemic and increasing automation transforming jobs. Critical thinking and problem-solving top the list of skills employers believe will grow in prominence in the next five years, but newly emerging this year are skills in self-management such as active learning, resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility. The report also notes that although learning a new skill set is increasingly accessible through digital technologies, individuals will also need the time and funding to be able to pursue new opportunities.
This report has education and teaching implications. It makes sense that teachers begin to use this information in order to design instruction in a way that set students up with the skills they need for the future. It’s not enough to prepare students for the “Real World”, we need to prepare them to navigate the “Real World” as it changes.
What Teachers Should Know
1. Emphasize Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving
Critical thinking and problem-solving are the most important skills for the future job market. Teachers can help students develop these skills by emphasizing project-based learning, encouraging them to analyze and solve real-world problems, and providing opportunities for collaboration and creative thinking. Some other strategies include making time to promote metacognitive reflection, asking open ended questions, and encouraging students to look at problems and ideas from different perspectives.
2. Teach Self-Management Skills
The report also highlights the importance of self-management skills, such as active learning, resilience, stress tolerance, and flexibility. Teachers can help students develop these skills by providing opportunities for self-directed learning and teaching stress-management techniques. The workplaces of the future will change at an increasing pace, and people will need to be able to learn and adapt on their own. This ability to adapt and learn independently will continued to be valued in the workplace.
3. Incorporate Technology into the Curriculum
As technology continues to transform the job market, it's important for students to have a strong foundation in digital literacy. Teachers can incorporate technology into the curriculum by teaching coding and programming, using online resources for research and collaboration, and providing opportunities for students to use technology to create and share their own work. It’s also important that students practice using technology to communicate in a professional way to convey questions, ideas, and what they’ve learned. Students need to be creators of ideas and information, not just consumers.
4. Focus on Lifelong Learning
The report notes that reskilling and upskilling will be essential for workers to adapt to the changing job market. Teachers can help students develop a love of learning by emphasizing the importance of lifelong learning and it’s benefits, modeling a growth mindset, and providing opportunities for students to explore their interests and passions. Literacy is the foundation for lifelong learning. The ability to learn from reading opens doors of opportunity. It provides the freedom to learn what you want, on your own terms.
By incorporating these tips into their teaching, educators can help prepare their students for success in the rapidly changing job market of the future.
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