Exploring survival skills for education
The meet-up for teachers at Avans University of Applied Sciences in Breda has an energetic and enthusiastic atmosphere, despite the late hour. Teachers from different schools have come together to participate in the Next Generation Survival Kit. They all want to change something in education. Together they will explore the future of education and their own role in it.
They start by making a number of choices between different developments. Each group deals with this differently. In one group, they carefully weigh up each choice and stall the decision moment as long as possible. “I think it’s both important, can’t they both be involved in the future?” Unfortunately, the choice has to be made, even though it’s not always easy and even if you don’t always agree with each other. They have heated discussions, but in the end consensus is reached.
In the other group they make the decision faster. They continue to discuss the latest technological and educational developments and how they could affect their lives. Is that what they want? Isn’t it better the way it is now? No, they want progress and change. “It’s handy when your fridge can order groceries for you!” But there is also fear of big changes. “I already find it difficult how my phone works sometimes”. They notice that it is quite difficult to think a few steps further than what already exists. But slowly they get a taste for it and they get more and more enjoyment in exploring the unknown.
In the end, both groups are working on a future scenario. They describe the skills that are needed to ‘survive’ in that future and that they think are important to start teaching today. It is interesting to see that despite the different approaches, the groups still describe largely the same ‘survival’ skills such as curiosity, creativity and flexibility. The future is uncertain, but these skills ensure that young people can always adapt to our rapidly changing world, where knowledge alone is no longer sufficient. After the session, many teachers hang around to talk. Inspiration and contact details are exchanged.
“Very inspiring! It’s nice to get together and experience what other people think about the future.”
“I go home with a lot of energy to apply future thinking in the classroom tomorrow.”