How Then Should You Be Educated?

by Patrick Liew on December 30, 2016

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) tends to adopt what economists term as the human capital model of education.

In short, students are treated as resources that can contribute to growth of the economy. The educational system is somewhat designed to help them improve their position and strengths for gainful employment and employability.

While students should be developed to become an important part of the workplace and economy, they should also be developed to become more just a resource.

The main purpose of education is not just to help them contribute to the economy but to also become a moral, wise, responsible and useful person.

A person who can contribute to strengthening workplaces, communities, and economy.

Address social injustice, achieve progress for society, and live a meaningful, productive and fulfilling life.

To do so, they need to undergo a holistic, balanced and skills-based programme.

In this regard, PISA does not fully measure all the critical factors that contribute to an effective educational system.

It does not measure many of the important qualities and skills that may be required by future employers and be in demand in the brave new world.

PISA recognized the shortfall of its tests and
therefore, it’ll be broadening the areas to be measured and the resulting scores will be part of the overall results.
PISA plans to measure ethical thinking, creativity, social and emotional skills, entrepreneurship, and inter-cultural intelligence.

Besides these areas to be measured, PISA should also assess students’ moral, civic, physical, and artistic values and developments, and their mastery of other 21st century skills.
21st century skills are skills for higher-order thinking to help students understand, control, improve and master their cognitive processes.
These skills can also be cross-fertilized and be built upon to help students develop other skills to support them in pursuing different pathways of excellence.

In addition, these are skills that may not be easily executed by current automation technology. They can also help students create, manage and respond to technological advancement.
21st century skills include metacognitive and fluid intelligence skills, leadership and persuasion skills, self-directed learning skills, high-touch and aesthetic skills, interpersonal and intrapersonal skills, financial literacy skills, and giving back skills.

They include moral, character, physical, and artistic developments. These values are not easily quantifiable or measurable.

PISA does not currently measure any of the above skills and these skills can make a major difference to helping students live a purposeful and fulfilling life.

For example, self-directed skills can help students develop joy for learning and passion for learning how to learn. As a result, it can motivate them to pursue lifelong learning.

The path of excellence in the disruptive future is not algorithmic (following a set pattern) but heuristic (breaking away from a set pattern) to achieve radical breakthroughs.
To do so, students need to develop knowledge and skills that may not be adequately covered in current educational curriculum.

Continuous learning – and not just formal education – is the only platform to help them change, improve and achieve better results.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

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