Saturday, November 19, 2011

Charles Fadel L&B Keynote

21st Century Skills: The Imperative for Teaching Creativity and Innovation in Schools
Charles Fadel

Key Messages
Challenges require comprehensive rethinking - RELEVANCE
- Applicable Knowledge
- Skills not just Knowledge
- Character not just Skills & Knowledge

What will the world be like 20 years from now?
- Volatile
- Uncertain
- Complex
- Ambiguous

This is what happens in a multipolar world (several centers of political and economic strength)

The New World We Live In
Learning leads to economic competitiveness and Lifelong personal prosperity and social & environmental wellbeing
Globalization requires productivity, which requires education, so it puts a focus on our profession
Impact of absolute population size - In 2025, there will be 300M skilled workers in China and India, which is a world challenge

Does the world have the absorptive capacity?
- Long-term, perhaps
- Short-term, major dislocations
25% of US jobs are potentially off-shoreable" Blinder at Harvard

What do Egypt, Japan, and Sweden have in common?
- High Youth Unemployment (40% in Egypt!)

Accelerating change demands different skills
- Non-routine analytic/interactive are on the rise (consultants and engineers)
- Route cognitive and manual are decreasing (assembly work, paper work)
- Non-routine manual are toast (construction)

Personally-delivered vs. Impersonally delivered
Impersonal services are off-shoreable, personal services are not

Skill vs. Delivery
Even very skilled jobs are off-shoreable if they are impersonal
But even personal jobs are becoming off-shoreable due to technology (fly to a surgeon, telesurgery, for example)
"Computers found more accurate than doctors in breast-cancer diagnosis" Science Magazine, Nov 10, 2011
We have passed a new threshold in artificial intelligence, but the replacement of human labor by technology is not new.
We have to be aware of the rapidity of technological development - with human genome, we can now do in 5 minutes what it would have taken a year to do.
iPhone: $400 price point - 40Tb in 2015, 40Eb 2025 (you could video your whole life)!
Exobrain by 2030
This is already possible in the cloud
Distributed computing - Folding@Home project

We are preparing students for jobs that do not exist and things we haven't even thought of!

Think about 3D printing - what would you do if you had a micro-factory in your office?

"The future is already here - it's just not very evenly distributed." - William Gibson

When the digital revolution exceeds education, we experience social pain; when education is ahead, we experience prosperity

So what do we teach for in an era of ubiquitous search and AI that help us with answers?
- Fluidity with technology
- Adaptability
- Resilience
- Asking the right questions
- Synthesizing/integrating
- Creating!

Creative work differentiates more developed countries from less developed countries and work done by machines

Schooling vs. Real-World
" learning is abstract, theoretical and organized by disciplines while work is concrete, specific to the task, and organized by problems and projects." - OECD, "Learning for Jobs" 2009

We must re-think what is taught with a lens of relevance - what do we remove? what else do we need to teach? what else matters?

Partnership for 21st Century Skills - Framework of 21st Century Student Outcomes and Support Systems

Utah is NOT one of the states that has adopted this framework.

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