When I was in school (not that long ago), my teachers prepared me for a known world. People went to school, got jobs with companies who offered insurance, worked for forty years and then retired with a pension.
Today, teachers have to prepare our students for an unknown world. In the book, Inquiry and Innovation in the Classroom, A.J. Juliani points out that 65% of the jobs our students are going to have haven’t been invented yet. How can we possibly impart our students with the skills they need to work in jobs doing things that haven’t been conceived yet?
One way is to help them develop the Habits of Mind needed to tackle situations where you don’t immediately know what to do or what the answer is.
George Couros, author of The Innovator’s Mindset, says:
It is not technology that is having the biggest influence on what we do; it is the speed of change being thrust upon us. We also have more access to information and ideas, so we can do better. If you know better, you have to do better.
In the article, 10 Essential Characteristics of a 21st Century Educator, he identifies what an educator needs to do now to help students deal with our constantly changing world. You can read more about it here.