Having the ability and the aptitude to react quickly to changes in community circumstances and demands around education is critical to our CEC projects. For Te Hā o Mātauranga | Learning in Kaikōura, navigating the educational and employment changes after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Kaikoura in November 2016 was essential in ensuring their community had the capacity and capabilities to become part of the rebuild.
For Kaikoura whānau, the earthquake not only destroyed road and rail links, demolished houses, ripped up roads and railways and sent acres of land hurtling into the sea from massive landslides, it also displaced many community members out of work as the fishing, tourism and hospitality industries became temporarily redundant.
In its infancy at the time, CEC project Te Hā o Mātauranga saw the need to quickly support and upskill community members who were struggling to gain employment. They partnered with Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu to provide the He Toki Step Up programme, a short course aimed at helping participants achieve the minimum credentials to access employment opportunities after the quake. Together, the partners recruited 17 participants, who received training in civil construction alongside ‘soft skills’ of career planning, CV writing and interview skills. All participants were able to access driver licensing training and tests. This in itself was a huge task which required significant forward planning, not least of all because the lack of traffic lights made it impossible to sit a test in Kaikoura, and access to towns in which a drivers licence test could be taken was severely restricted by road damage.
Altogether, of the 14 participants who completed the programme, 8 found full time. employment after the short programme, 5 of these in jobs created after the earthquake. A further three participants continued with part time work, and two returned to school.
In the two years since the earthquakes, Te Hā o Mātauranga has continued to offer the community of Kaikoura the mix of practical skills, soft skills and competencies required by the future working environment, alongside the community planning and goal setting needed for communities to flourish, and in doing so play an important role in helping to connect their community with education and learning for the 21st century.
Future jobs will look very different to what they do now. There is expected to be a reduction in the needs for workers to complete routine, manual tasks which will be offset by an increase in the time workers need to spend focusing on people, solving strategic problems and thinking creatively. There will be a lot less management and organisation coordination, and self-employment or portfolio working will become the norm.
By 2030, it is estimated that workers will spend:
30% more time learning on the job
100% more time solving problems
41% more time on critical thinking and judgement
77% more time using science and maths
17% more time using verbal, communication, and interpersonal skills
Teaching and learning will need to change dramatically to respond to this changing environment. The types of teaching and learning that respond to the needs of our future workforce will need to be highly personalised and highly collaborative. It will need to respond to the needs of the learner, not the convenience of the learning institution. It must recognise that learning occurs in a multitude of contexts outside of the school walls and, most importantly, it will need to make the learner a partner in the learning process.
The current focus on learning areas will need to give way to a greater emphasis on competencies such as: participating and contributing, thinking, relating to others, using language, symbols and text, and managing self.
So what’s going to be needed for support our students, whānau and communities to navigate this changing system?
Self management will become a critical skill as students begin to manage their own learning. Whānau and community planning and goal setting will become more important and all whānau will need access to technology as a teaching and learning tool. Guidance and support will need to be strengthened.
Over the next few months we're going to use our blog to look at our CEC initiatives in each of our communities to understand what steps they are taking to support students, whānau and communities to adapt and succeed to this changing environment. Check back to read our case studies and examples of innovative and disruptive community-driven initiatives that connect our communities in Aotearoa with education and learning for the 21st century.
The J R McKenzie Trust CEC team were pleased to have the opportunity to attend and facilitate the inaugural Philanthropy New Zealand Network Education Funders Network which took place in Auckland on April 11.
The day provided a great opportunity for conversations around what the future of education could look like in Aotearoa New Zealand. There was a clear willingness from all in the room to identify common interests that may lead to sharing knowledge and resources, which may even lead to collaboration on future projects.
We were delighted to hear from Rob McIntosh on the subject “Future Directions in New Zealand Schooling: The Case for Transformation.” Rob looked at the challenge for our current education system in how best to equip young people to develop the capabilities that allow them to thrive in a transforming world. He argued that the dominant model of teaching and learning which primarily involves the transmission of knowledge is no longer enough to meet either the needs of learners, or of our changing world.
Instead, learning should:
Be highly personalised and highly collaborative.
Respond to the needs of the learner.
Recognise that learning doesn’t just occur at school, it also occurs outside of school in a range of contexts.
Integrate knowledge and competency development to tackle authentic real-world problems that are meaningful to the learner.
Involve project-based learning which focusses on the production of a tangible output.
Recognise the critical role of technology.
How well is this done in our schools at the moment? Perhaps the easiest way to find out is ask a 15 to 17-year-old to tick off the items on that list that currently occur at their school (and if they tick off even one of these please leave a comment as we would love to hear about it!).
There are pockets of innovative learning in New Zealand where some of these things do occur. But the wholesale change that is needed to equip our children and young people for the new work order and the future challenges we face is not happening widely or fast enough. Click here to download a copy of Rob’s presentation.
Three dumb questions to ask a 15 year old: 1. Can you please put your phone down for just five minutes? 2. Do you really need to see your friends this weekend? 3. What do you want to do when you leave school?
Of all these questions, the last one is the most problematic. Unlike the first two questions, the third question - what do you want to do when you leave school - is almost impossible for our teens to answer. This is because artificial intelligence (AI) and globalisation are impacting so significantly on jobs that it's almost impossible to predict what the future workforce might look like.
What we do know, thanks mostly to innovative research being conducted by the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA), is that young people graduating now are likely to work in 17 different jobs – many yet unknown and unknowable - across 5 careers, through a working life of 60 to 70 years.
In May the JR McKenzie Trust and the Ministry of Youth Development partnered to offer a presentation on The New Work Order by Jan Owen from the FYA. Their research shows that a new work order is arriving – fast. The world of work is in a massive transition to an ever more global, technology driven, flexible economy in which whole professions are being altered, new professions are coming into existence, and traditional jobs are being swallowed by automation.
The role of education in preparing our young people to meet the unknowable future is huge. Yet we are, as Ken Robinson says, using an outmoded industrial educational system to prepare our young people for a rapidly changing future.
Projects such as those funded by Connecting Education and Communities have a crucial role in helping communities and their education providers to become more responsive to the educational needs of young people and their whānau. To do this, we support each CEC project to ensure active and authentic participation from the target groups so that activities are responsive to the aspirations of whānau, hapu, iwi. We believe that by doing this communities will be increasingly recognised as important partners in improving education.
What we want to see, ideally, (and with reference again to Ken Robinson) is communities and education providers taking a highly personalised, organic approach that draws on technological and professional resources to engage all students, develop their love of learning, and enable them to face the real challenges of the twenty-first century.