Someone graduating from high school in 2012, currently considering college, might look forward to retirement in 2062. No one alive today has a concrete idea what the world will look like, or what problems mankind will face in 2062. We can certainly extrapolate population trends, but let’s consider how skills taught today might become obsolete even in the next decade. For example, in the next decade computers will likely be able to drive, fly, and write their own software. So, other than considering prospective school credentials, a student should research the school’s ability to teach creative thinking.
There’s a fantastic TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson titled “Schools Kill Creativity” (link below) that considers how schools are stuck in the industrial age. Sir Robinson’s very articulate and entertaining talk focuses on the importance of nurturing creativity as an integral part of all of the study matters. With global populations expected to reach 10.5 billion by 2050 according to the January 2011 National Geographic special series, the resource problems presented to this recent generation will surely be unprecedented, perhaps seem impossible at times.
It will be necessary to combine “left” and “right” brain activity to develop solutions to energy, agriculture, medicine, urban design, mining, conservation, recycling, retrofitting, new materials and many more sciences. We had it easy during the industrial revolution with unprecedented access to commodities and energy, fueling amazing improvements in the standard of living for more people than can likely be sustained in the long-run.
Our skills need to be better capable of evolving. The challenge begins now.
Link to Sir Ken Robinson TED talk on Schools and Creativity: http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html