How confident are you at predicting the future? 

Posted on June 19, 2019

Over the years, many have tried to predict the future, including reputable organisations.  This trend continued in the past week with the CSIRO releasing a paper called The Australian National Outlook 2019. The paper was the outcome of a scenario planning project, not unlike the one we carried out at St Paul’s School in 2014.

The CSIRO’s scenario project found a number of challenges that will affect the national outlook in the coming decades.  One in particular caught my eye: Technological change, such as artificial intelligence, automation and advances in biotechnology are transforming existing industries and changing the skills required for high-quality jobs.

This mirrors St Paul’s School’s research and is a huge reason why we have pioneered so many innovations within our School, including our Realms of Thinking approach to teaching and learning and the introduction of a third pathway for students – an entrepreneurial pathway.

Interestingly, the CSRIO suggests our culture needs to shift to encourage more engagement, curiosity, collaboration and solutions. It made particular comment on the need to encourage a healthy culture of risk-taking, and an acceptance of fear of failure to support entrepreneurship and innovation. Sounds a lot like St Paul’s Realms of Thinking.

I always profess that a good education is one that ensures that every child can read, write and add up; provides a depth and knowledge and understanding; AND fosters a creative mindset and development of character. What I believe needs to occur at a national level is a rethink about HOW we teach and prepare young people for a very different future, remembering that those who will be doing that long-term thinking and solving the global issues will be our young people – the next generation. If we do not equip them with a creative mindset, we may never be able to overcome the immense problems facing our world.

Perhaps this is something you might consider.  How as parents and students can you foster a culture of curiosity, collaboration and resilience?  In your family, are you fearful of failure?  Or do you see it as a necessary obstacle to overcome and bounce back, to become people of character and creativity?

If you are a parent who is interested in learning more about how you can better support these dispositions in your child, why not consider joining the recently formed PARENT CONNECTIONS SUPPORTERS’ GROUP?

For details about the Parent Connections Supporters’ Group, please contact Sarah Gover via email at [email protected]

For the CSIRO’s Executive Summary please following this link:

Lastly, I wish you all a restful and restoring winter break.  I look forward to welcoming you back for Term 3 in July.

Dr Paul Browning

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