In his recent blog see http://www.richardgerver.com/blog/ Richard Gerver talks about the index created by the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute. The index ranks nations in terms of the contribution entrepreneurship makes to their overall economic output. A friend of Neil and I is working in China and she tells us that China is changing to a ‘designed in China’ culture backed by new laws just passed. Of the 17 out of the 65 factories set up to target key Western markets she is helping them be more innovative.
My concern is that in this country we are looking back to what worked in Education before and not forward to the future. We seem fixated on how standards are dropping and how the exams are easier. (front page of Daily Mail Wednesday 2nd May 2012 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2137939/A-Levels-GCSEs-HAVE-got-easier-decade-says-qualifications-watchdog.html)’. Well maybe we don’t need young people to learn the same things as we did. Young people need to be able to think on their feet, be creative, develop interpersonal skills. We need to prepare them for a changing future because they won’t be in the same job for 40 years!

I went to a talk by Richard a few years ago, I remember him saying 80% of the jobs available when our new school starters reach adult age do not yet exist because of the rate of technological change.

Most people retiring this year are likely to have been employed by 3-5 organisations. By the time our new schools starters retire it is predicted that they will have been employed by 18-25 organisations.

In that same talk Richard talked about a visit he made to China

He ended by telling of his experiences in China. Students attended school 6 ½ days a week and had 5 hours homework a night, classes had 60 -65 students. At the beginning of every lesson students would bow to their teachers and thank them for what they were about to hear. At the end of the lesson they would again bow and thank the teacher for teaching them. There was very little interaction between the students and teachers apart from one lesson where one very elderly teacher came in and he bowed down to the students and thanked them for coming to his class and expressed his hope that they learnt from him. His class by Chinese standards was very interactive. At the end of the lesson the teacher again bowed before his class, Richard asked the teacher why he did that and he explained that he in one of his classes there might be someone who could be the next president, an Olympic champion, a scientist who finds the cure for Aids and he expressed the honour he felt to impart what knowledge he had.

Isn’t that why we are so passionate about Education? Who knows who will be in our class and that is also the reason why we all should be interested in Education.

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