Invent, adapt, and reinvent

Published by Lori Pickert on August 7, 2011 at 01:39 PM

At the recent Aspen Ideas Festival, the New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman said that when he graduated from college, he was able to go find a job, but that our children [are] going to have to invent a job. — Daring to Stumble on the Road to Discovery

[The fastest growing companies in the world] are all looking for the same kind of people — people who not only have the critical thinking skills to do the value-adding jobs that technology can’t, but also people who can invent, adapt and reinvent their jobs every day, in a market that changes faster than ever.

Whatever you may be thinking when you apply for a job today, you can be sure the employer is asking this: Can this person add value every hour, every day — more than a worker in India, a robot or a computer? Can he or she help my company adapt by not only doing the job today but also reinventing the job for tomorrow? And can he or she adapt with all the change, so my company can adapt and export more into the fastest-growing global markets? In today’s hyperconnected world, more and more companies cannot and will not hire people who don’t fulfill those criteria.

[T]his is not your parents’ job market. — Thomas Friedman, The Start-Up of You

Will your kids be prepared to invent their own jobs?



Comment by jane on August 7, 2011 at 02:15 PM

This totally goes against what our children are learning to do in school. Memorization for tests and output on those tests are what matters. No metacognitive thinking allowed! For example: In our high school (where most go onto college) they need to read two books during the summer. In past years they had to write a short essay on each book. This year they will be taking mult. choice quizes on the books that they read because the teachers were to overwhelmed with all the essays they needed to read.

Comment by Lori Pickert on August 7, 2011 at 03:48 PM

the structure of education today:

"you, student, do as we tell you — do this work, do that homework, and then we'll give you a grade and pass you along. and by the way, take out a lot of loans to pay for college — these first 13 years were just preparing you for college. that's where you'll actually learn something that will help you get a job."

the structure of education as it should be? there is a persistent bill gates-type way of looking at things that says "these students are our workforce — let's prepare them to work for us." we forget that these students are also our business owners, innovators, scientists, doctors, researchers.

i don't think schools are set up to graduate armies of people who can invent, adapt, and reinvent. maybe young people will be able to do those things, but i don't think they'll learn it in school. they'll pick it up from their hobbies, the internet, and the things they do outside of school.

homeschooled kids have a possible advantage (only possible because some hs'ers basically replicate school at home) — they can begin to manipulate their world and control their learning much, much earlier — if they have parents who support them to do so.

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