The Future of Education

the future of education An outlook of the changing educational needs of children

9 out of 10 parents in cities across Romania are currently sharing the belief that school isn't actually providing the right training for students to benefit in their future careers. A poll carried out among 1,000 Internet users shows that parents aren't satisfied with the way in which school is presently training their children for their future jobs, adding that if they were in charge they would completely eliminate the subjects they consider unnecessary introducing others that may complete the training of the future adults. Personal development and creative thinking are subjects over 70% of the interviewed parents are considering necessary for the future jobs of the new adults. Among the other subjects parents described as necessary in their children's education are good manners, public speaking, leadership, exotic languages, classroom debates or creative writing. Half of the respondents believe that robots and technologies are going to replace humans in the production process and see their children's future careers as tethered to the IT sector. Over one quarter of the respondents believe in the future of the artificial intelligence as strongly related to their children's future, whereas less than 25% see their children embracing medicine, constructions or the entertainment industry. The latest global report on competitiveness, made public by the World Economic Forum shows that the shortage of qualified work force and critical thinking proved to be some of Romania's biggest drawbacks in 2019. Here is now Professor Andreea Paul with more on how we should ready ourselves for the challenges of the future.


Andreea Paul: "For the time being, we can do that whenever we speak about such realities, under an assumed, objective and pragmatic form. We should not just complain, but we should also do something about it. We fare neither good, nor bad. We're placed somewhere in the middle part of the world rankings. But there are 50 countries doing this job somehow better than us. The smallest number of points in all competitive disadvantages is included in this indicator labeled critical thinking in school, meaning how do we teach our children to ask the question why? How do we talk our children into challenging the system around them, the life around them, the subject matters, people's mindset, how they perceive the different realities around them and, furthermore, what is their own answer to the question which is the added value they can bring to this world as compared to previous generations or as compared to other colleagues of the same age?"


In the age of digital technology, the education of tomorrow needs new skills and abilities to answer the challenges of a world facing more and more threats. To be able to keep up with all these changes, Romania needs to switch from traditional to modern teaching methods, which should promote skills, know-how and a flexible mindset. For some time now several schools have set up the so-called Smart Labs. They contain interactive whiteboards, 3D printers and scanners and educational robots. The functioning of these labs however means teachers need to have the proper training too, Andreea Paul, one of the developers of the project, told us.


Andreea Paul: "Children are fast learners, they immediately pick up the gist of these smart devises. Drawing on a 3D software is as easy as drawing on a sheet of paper, pencil in hand. But the same is not true of the teaching staff. Half of teachers are reluctant towards these labs. The others however understand the need for digital literacy and technology, which look into the future. Being digitally literate is as important as being able to read, write and do simple math, being functionally literate overall". 


Romanian students got the poorest results in the last nine years in the latest PISA tests, an international student assessment mechanism that places emphasis on the skills needed in personal and social life and on the labour market. The tests didn't necessarily show what the students know but how they can apply what they know in concrete situations. The report also shows that the educational needs of 15-year-olds have changed and that teachers must face this challenge. Intelligent digital education is required, says professor Andreea Paul:


Andreea Paul: "This means understanding the interaction between intelligent devices. I'm referring to computers, interactive whiteboards, 3D printing, VR headsets and 3D scanners and how these can be put to use in the subjects taught in school. Every subject must be visualised. Then comes virtual reality. A pair of VR glasses helps you visualise the red globule in the veins, turns you into a virtual tourist in space, travelling to the Saharan desert, the Great Wall of China, the Amazon, it helps you travel anywhere in this world. It can help a child learn geography, physics, chemistry, visualising the atom, which is a difficult concept to grasp."

Let's bring theory and practice together, says professor Andreea Paul, so that children can touch, create, ask and feel confident to say to their teachers that they don't agree with them.



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Publicat: 2019-12-06 14:00:00
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