As a 20 year old currently going through the university system and having just completed the HSC after 12 years of schooling, there are only two things that stand out to me: that I still see no value in 90% of the content that I learnt at school, and that despite this, according to the ATAR system, I am apparently smarter than 90% of the students my age. What do I have to show for it? A basic understanding and a will to address the world’s problems, but absolutely no confidence in my ability to do so.
The single thing that sets humanity apart from every other species in the animal kingdom is our ability to communicate and interact with each other - an ability that the internet and the process of globalisation are rapidly accelerating. So how then does it make sense that our entire economy and education system is ENTIRELY GROUNDED UPON SELF-INTEREST AND COMPETITION? The world and its problems are now the biggest they have ever been, and they are only going to get bigger if we limit the perspective of future generations.
IN REGARDS TO IMPLEMENTATION, we need a schooling system that is flexible enough that a cohort of school leavers could become a company. We need a school system where GROUP WORK IS PRIORITISED, and in which the skills of students are known, utilised, and respected, NOT a system that isolates students from each other and asks them all to ‘find x’. We need subjects that are taught WITH THE PRIMARY OBJECTIVE of understanding and solving the worlds problems, not subjects that are packed with compartmentalised regurgitated content. We need a schooling system that properly utilises the availability of the internet in an inter-connected world, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, we need a schooling system that promotes collaboration rather than competition.
Luckily THERE IS ALREADY SOMETHING BEING DONE that could provide a framework for these changes: the Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation at UTS, which is a degree UNLIKE ANY OTHER IN THE WORLD that places emphasis on group work, lateral thinking, and which works with clients such as the City of Sydney to solve real-world issues.
In terms of VALUE FOR MONEY, the changes that have been presented mainly involve a structural and ideological shift, the cost of which could be more than offset by the increased efficiency and entrepreneurial ambition of young innovators. The horizon for innovation is limitless, and we should pursue it with ambition!