Change is the only constant, education isn’t

When I left school in 1979, I knew there was not such thing as a job for life. With un-employment at 25%++, it was obvious.  So every time I meet one of these people who still believe its their human right to stay in the same job and expect my fellow tax payers to keep them, I try and find out as much as I can from these people. How did they get this mindset? How do they deal with every day problems and issues? How do they see the future? What are their real life expectations?  Just as you would if you had the opportunity to spent time with Elvis, Marlyn or Mr Hughes.

I seem to have come up with four groups:

  • Some people are very good at dealing with multiple issues, variable and accepting(no thriving) on change. Change is their fuel, their life blood.
  • Some people don’t like risk, so reducing the variables in their life to those they can deal with, tea or coffee, catch the 5.30 or 5.45 train home.
  • Those who are extremely happy with their status, power and empire. They will do anything to stop anything changing.
  • And then you get those who are just lazy.

The more and more I deal with our educators, those people who are developing our young, I fear we are recruiting the wrong people to teach the next generation of world leaders. These educators are some of the most risk adverse people, cannot accept change and more importantly did not understand what happened in 1979.

We still run courses which educators ‘can’ and want to teach. Just take a quick look at and look at the jobs available and then go to UCAS and try and spot how many courses would lead to one these jobs. Over 25% of jobs are sales related, yet there are no courses. Then we wonder why UK industry is not selling to other countries.

We are not competitive in our education system and then don’t understand why our young are not successful in a competitive global job market.  Every person in this country is competing with over 6,000,000,000 other people for their job. Even if you want to work in the local corner shop, over 340,000,000 in Europe can just as easily work for that shop. At other levels of industry, software can be developed and used anywhere, manufacturing can be transferred within weeks to any part of the world. Its all competitive, even education (oops! sorry maybe that’s just too radical for 2012).

Someone this week told me we still use an education system developed for the industrial revolution and he was right. We should be able to create an education system which fits everyone, what ever age, what ever mental, physical capability and most importantly their aptitude. This also mean allowing people to finish full time education at 12, allowing 50 year olds to gain new skills, allowing university/college students to develop their own business whilst studying.  We live in a highly competitive portfolio working, global market place.

Education is all about the experience, (see: Morrison’s, Walmart, Google) and not about the quality, content or having the biggest building. It about the industrial relevance, networking opportunities and space utilization.

Lets go back and think about how we are going to lead the world and re-define what education is and how our society interfaces with it throughout their enterprising lives.