I decided to write this post after this really interesting article came across my desk today. It touched on some discussion points which have come up in various conversations I have had with academic professionals and researchers within the Caribbean region, on how we can redesign, re-envision our education system to meet the challenges of this new global economy. I thought it would be interesting to open the discussion with you folks as well. Here goes.
In the article titled: Rethinking university to prepare for an uncertain future, Dawn Calleja, as part of a continuing series called Canada Competes, interviewed four creative Canadians and asked how they would design higher education to meet an unknown future skills gap.
Here is a brief summary of the points discussed:
1) Students must be led to his or her own way of thinking and creating rather than being forced to regurgitate what has been taught. (André Alexis)
2) We should focus more on the practical component of the programs – more hands-on ie. allow students to be subjected to their interests sooner and more often while maintaining more focus on teaching ethics, manners, professionalism, attire, communication and plain old people skills. (Gerry Dee)
3) A mix-and-match education: With rapidly evolving economies and culture there is value in giving students the opportunity to mix n’ match academia, skills acquisition and research. (Timothy Taylor)
4) Revisit the Renaissance thinker: A system of encouraging students to connect the dots by building bridges between interests, expanding the art of the possible: ie. The multi-disciplinary perspective. Our universities should require students to integrate knowledge, think across disciplines, and translate ideas from one conceptual framework to another. (Tom Rand)
Read the full text of the article here: Globe and Mail Article
What are your thoughts? Do you think there is merit in these suggestions as a way to better prepare our students ie: future workers and entrepreneurs to compete in the global economy?