Monday, January 25, 2016

Future of learning - schools and unschooling - impact on post-school / tertiary

While in Perth, also did a bit of reading around what the school sector is coming up with with regards to 'the future of schooling'.

Teachthought provides one perspective with 13 likely realities for the future of learning.   Included are the usual suspects of personalised learning through access to information via the WWW and the impact of the 'maker movement'.

Also, form teachthought, articles on ways technology will change education and the caveat of putting curriculum before technology.

All the above provide a good overview of what thought leaders are thinking with regards to the schools sector.

Meanwhile, in the world of work, sites like knowledge works provide articles on the uncertainty of work. Some congruence between the two sites. Tertiary learning is therefore the connecting systems between formal schooling and the future of work.

There is a need to prepare ALL for a world of continuous change. In some forms of work, there may be less change in the actual work (e.g. craft / trades) but the impact of social-political changes forces the work to refocus. For example, a carpenter still needs the skills, knowledge and dispositions of being a craftsperson BUT the ways in which the business of carpentry is conducted, will shift. There will be economic pressures to adjust to through ways materials are sourced. Technological changes in how the carpenter interacts with 'head office'. New requirements set by legislative changes and the need to be more sustainable in using materials and in building design. Therefore, important to sift out what ACTUAL impacts there might be so the curriculum to train, shifts with time.

Of interest, for instance is this book chapter by Trevor Marchand which came through my Google scholar alerts this morning. The chapter ' managing pleasurable pursuits: utopic horizons and the arts of ignoring and 'not knowing; among fine woodworkers in the 2015 book 'regimes of ignorance' - chapter one available for overview. In Marchand's book chapter, the idealistic direction of aspiring woodworkers is tempered as they progress through their two year programme. Many of the students are 'vocational migrants' - mature students who intend to 'retrain' into, perhaps, more fulfilling work - (as per Crawford's shop class as soul craft intentions). Marchand's woodcraft student interviewees appreciate the thorough grounding they are being provided with through the programme at the Building Crafts College (BCC). However, they intimate that some 'management of small business' focus may also be useful as many graduates intend to set up their own business after completing the programme.

At my institute, many of our trades programmes run in similar ways to the programmes at the BCC. There is strong emphasis on crafts skills. Business management etc. is usually something graduates of trades type Certificates embark on at Advanced Certificate or Diploma level in some trades - see NZ Dip in baking level 5 as an example of incorporating business into a trades programme. Many trades people also enrol (usually part-time) in business management type diplomas after they complete their apprenticeship. However, there is also a large category of trades people who 'stay on the tools' and leave business management aspects of their business to other business partners or their spouse or other family.

So perhaps an aspect to keep in mind and have conversations about when we design trade programmes. When, how much and how the wider business arena, beyond crafts training, needs to be introduced.

No comments: