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Looking globally: the future of education
Looking globally: the future of education

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4 Educating for a technological future

If jobs are at risk, what does that mean for education? In Week 2, three models of thinking about education were discussed. Under the human capital model, education is seen as an investment of time and money with the expectation of return from future gainful employment. But the capabilities model implies that education should be directed at developing the kinds of capabilities that allow an individual to achieve outcomes that they value. Also, think back to the ideas in Ken Robinson’s video Changing Education Paradigms that you viewed in Week 1. Can creative education of the sort he discussed be automated? Similarly, Paul Warwick’s views about education for sustainable development argue for the need for creativity in education, as introduced in Week 3, as well as developing ‘pedagogies of compassion’ (Warwick, 2016). Could automation challenge or complement such visions for the purpose of education?

Activity 5 Decoupling work from income

Timing: Allow approximately 15 minutes

Think about:

  • How do we decouple work from income? Try some divergent thinking, as discussed by Ken Robinson in the video you watched in Week 1. Make a list of the ways you might spend your time if you did not have to work to get an income. You might find some of the images uploaded to the gallery from Activity 3 helpful in thinking about this.
  • Which ideas in your list could be considered as making a valuable contribution to society as a whole? Are all ways of spending your time equally valuable if work and income are decoupled?
  • How do these reflections affect your thinking about the purpose of education?

Now, in the final activity for this week, you will bring together the various ideas you have considered to draw some conclusions about a possible future.

Activity 6 What does a technological future mean for education?

Timing: Allow approximately 45 minutes
  1. Reflect on the changes that may have to happen in education as a result of technological developments in the workplace.
  2. Now combine these into one 200-word summary using the notes you made as a result of all the activities this week, including:
    • the issues raised in the Did you know? video in Activity 1 and Humans need not apply video in Activity 2
    • the ideas you heard discussed in the BBC Radio 4 Global Philosopher extract in Activity 3
    • the images posted and discussed in Activity 3
    • the blog post ‘Creativity versus robots’ in Activity 4
    • your reflections on the changes that may have to happen in education because of technological changes (in response to all the Activities 1–5).
  3. Post your summary on the course forum [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . Access other posts and read and respond to two that interest you; try to make sure one of these contains views that you disagree with. This will require you logging into the forum on more than one occasion, which might take you into next week, to allow others time to post.

Remember that you need to add at least 3 posts to the forum in order to gain your badge.

Please note: we may wish to reuse your forum contributions, anonymously, in future sessions of this course. If you wish to opt out of this, email