From education to employment

FE Sector General Curriculum: Let’s Map Workplace Needs Backwards

The fourth industrial revolution is in full swing.

Yet schools and universities continue to follow their nineteenth century formulae. Revolutions in the realm of economics have always been advantageous, they point out; this one will be no different. They seem not to understand that this time economic change will look very different, making new kinds of demands.

Algorithms are the new feature of this economy.

From the boardroom into the classroom

Let us, just as an exercise, work through one technological trend, and translate it into possible areas which may be addressed by colleges.

Let us take the big data revolution. In the analytics-driven future industry foresees, the sheer volume of data collected is not what will differentiate between companies. It’s what employers do with that data that will determine their fate amongst their competitors.

So much data is collected – what is significant, what is irrelevant?  

All companies see the promise of data-driven innovation. Some can see that the sector productivity might increase overall and others can see that with this new data, they could be monetizing new products and services.

Can we map the company decisions against the standard college curriculum?

In the company

In the colleges

  • What should be the processes and policies for gathering this data? Where do ethics intervene? Whose data should they collect, and under what circumstances?
  • Considering ethical questions, personal space and the public sphere, the power of governments and corporations, how to make general rules from specific events
  • How should they ‘cleanse’ the data of information irrelevant to the corporate purposes?
  • Teach about sifting of information using discretion, in response to a given purpose)
  • How should data be organized in a meaningful way, so that answers to the questions being asked by a corporate board become easily apparent?
  • Presenting numbers to tell a story – and basic accounting concepts – perhaps with discussions of what is ‘value’ and how are we seen to value something
  • Who should be allowed access to the data they have collected?
  • Ethics, Civics, Metaphysics

The importance of stories in how we learn

People learn through stories – this is widely acknowledged. That is why the life skills network prioritises stories and opportunities for reflection in our own learning programmes.

Are you one of the 37 colleges which have been chosen to implement the UK government’s policy to attract industry experts into the classroom?

What stories do your industry experts bring to the college?

What was the most interesting industry based story which you have heard in a classroom?

How will that change what you teach?

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