The Future of Work: Is your child prepared?

Selina D Souza
Apr 15, 2022
Future-ready education

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us, and the world is changing faster than we realise. Automation of existing processes continues at an exponential rate, and nearly half of the jobs that humans perform today are expected to be done by robots or artificial intelligence in the near future. Therefore, schools and parents need to work together to prepare children to be flexible and creative in their thinking and become future-ready.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution and the age of automation

Over the last few centuries, there have been several technological advances and industrial revolutions.

● The First Industrial Revolution began in 1760 and lasted until the 19th century. During this industrial revolution, mechanisation took centre stage.

● Beginning in 1870 and lasting into the 20th century, the Second Industrial Revolution is considered by most to be the most significant and important industrial revolution because, during this period, the world began to rely on new types of energy while simultaneously developing new technologies. Methods of transportation and communication significantly improved during this time.

● The Third Industrial Revolution, or the Digital Revolution, which began in 1969 and lasted into the millennium, was defined by emerging technology and the development of nuclear energy.

Most experts believe that we are at the dawn of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, in which automation will play a vital role in how the world moves forward.

At GIIS, students are encouraged to work together as a team

Changes expected over the next 20 years

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is expected to take shape over the next few years, and 20 years from now, significant changes are expected in the way people do their jobs, the amount of work that is automated and the types of jobs people do. 

These are just a few of the changes that are already under way and are expected to accelerate in the coming years:

● Robots will perform many tasks, including tasks that need logical thinking like coding, that are done by humans today.

● Health care professionals will rely more heavily on technology when evaluating and diagnosing patients.

● Cars will no longer need to be driven by humans, as driverless technology will improve significantly.

Due to an increased reliance on automation and an expectation of emerging technologies, experts like Dr. John Baruch, who heads the centre for ‘Education for the 4th industrial revolution’, believe that nearly 50 per cent of the jobs performed by humans today will be eliminated. Rather than working for companies or being employed in traditional settings, many workers will be freelancers who rely on their creativity and innovation to fuel their careers. As a result, this is the best time to begin preparing students for the future of work.

How schools can prepare students for the future 

It can be a difficult task to prepare students for a future that has yet to be written, but there are enough clues about what the years ahead may hold, and educators can start making changes now.

This is what schools can do now to prepare students for the future of work:

● Educators must first ditch the age-old model of teaching students to memorise and reiterate facts. Rather than focusing on teaching for a test, teachers and administrators must find ways for students to collaborate, communicate, and develop their critical thinking skills. Creative thinking will be vital in the future.

● Students must be encouraged to be creative and innovative in all of their lessons. At times, this means that they will be taking risks — and likely failing. This is okay as it helps them learn resilience in the face of failure. Students who are unafraid to take risks are more likely to innovate in the future.

● Children should work together in pairs or teams, as this requires them to communicate and collaborate with their peers. In a multicultural environment, they learn to work with students of all beliefs and backgrounds, which will prepare them for the global economy.

● Students must be provided with the freedom to learn in ways that work best for them. This helps them become confident learners and gives them the ability to be creative in their endeavours.

● Students should be given open-ended assignments in which there is no specific approach or correct answer. This helps to foster new ways of thinking and ideas naturally.

Future-Ready learning at GIIS

At GIIS, we have long relied on a future-ready approach to education. With our 9Gems holistic framework providing the foundation for students’ learning, our students participate in a wide variety of activities, hands-on learning assignments and STEM-based initiatives. They are prepared to think critically, ask questions, engage in discussions and collaborate with their peers as part of their day-to-day school life. 

In addition, our campus provides the facilities and resources — such as skills-based studios, student innovation rooms, design thinking labs and collaborative learning spaces — that students need to develop 21st-century skills. Beyond that, all of our students are encouraged to participate in extracurricular and co-curricular activities that help them combine their passions and interests with future-ready learning.

These are the early days of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, but it is the best time to prepare your children for the future of work. You can do this by enrolling them in an international school that encourages creativity and innovation in a child's daily life — one that provides an environment where children can develop the 21st-century skills they need while collaborating with peers and taking risks.

If you’d like to know more about how GIIS Singapore prepares our students to become future-ready learners, contact us to schedule a school tour or book an appointment with our admissions team.

Selina D Souza

Selina D'souza is a Senior Communications specialist with 10+ years of marketing communications experience in the B2B and B2C IT and Education sector. She is a passionate curator of good content, believes that schools can be a place of creativity and innovation if the right mindset and practices are adopted, and is always looking for more sustainable lifestyle choices.

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