The Real Education Revolution

Last week the following article appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald (www.smh.com.au) based on research published by the Centre for Skills Development (www.centreforskills.com.au) where I am a Director. The article was written by Education journalist Ana Patty.

NSW schools are failing to adequately prepare students for employment and are too focused on teaching basic literacy, numeracy and computer skills, according to a paper from the Centre for Skills Development.

The draft white paper suggests students need to develop more sophisticated technology and communication skills at school to find jobs.

The paper, A Real Education Revolution, says teachers need to be equipped with more advanced technology skills.

Co-author Sheryle Moon said it was no longer enough for schools to provide basic computer skills.

“If teachers don’t understand the application of technology – the collaborative environment technology facilitates – and build that into the curriculum, then young Australians will go out into the workforce with an incomplete set of skills,” she said.

Ms Moon is a director of the Centre for Skills Development, a behavioural change management consultancy.

“To harness the energy of teams you need to work in a virtual environment where your staff or team or co-workers are spread across the world in different time zones.

“In a knowledge economy, employers look for people who have the communication capability to interact with team members, clients, to understand issues and solve problems.”

The draft white paper says communication technology is part of the work environment, yet is only being slowly integrated into curriculums, classrooms and training. “This throws the lack of teacher training in multi-disciplinary communication skills into sharp relief,” it says. “In a world saturated by technology, the average classroom is decades behind technologies used in workplaces as standard.”

The centre says relatively few students are involved in public speaking and debating, which help develop communication and analytical skills.

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