T he digital world of work calls for new skills, and all those involved in industry, trade unions and education agree on this. The question of competences and their implementation leads to numerous events, committees and working groups. However, the wrong questions are often asked there. Recently, I took part in a discussion that dealt with how content can be better communicated technically and pedagogically in the future (“ipad classes”) and whether every pupil has to learn programming immediately.
In my opinion, this discussion is much too short! I hope that children will no longer be exposed to the torture of vocabulary learning if they don’t enjoy it. It doesn’t matter whether there is a learning software for it or not. Nor do I assume that everyone will be able to write and read programmes in future. After all, we didn’t become all engineers after the 1st Industrial Revolution to be able to work with the systems in factories or drive cars.
For me, it is much more a question of how, in an agile and digital society, we can create the conditions for making the best possible use of people’s advantages. In terms of creativity and emotional intelligence, humans will remain superior to algorithm-driven machines for the foreseeable future. He can exploit this advantage above all if he learns to make use of the technology and use it for his own purposes. Emotional intelligence means first of all the ability to respond to others and ourselves, to connect feelings and to motivate us. This form of intelligence is characterized by our self-confidence, self-motivation, empathy (social awareness) and the ability to build relationships. We do not need to learn this ability as human beings, but we can train it.
In the future, companies will be organized in hybrid networks. Internal and external employees will collaborate creatively on joint projects and topics. Machines can support this cooperation and make it more efficient. But the real added value of this cooperation for companies lies in the fact that the employees are able to connect emotionally and to network knowledge and expertise together, which at first glance does not fit together at all. Teamwork with different competencies will be the success factor for the competitiveness of the future.
What does this mean for the requirements of the education system?
Learning the future consists primarily of exercises in solving problems together. Away from the individual knowledge fighter to the collective problem solver. Every individual must have the opportunity in the education system to discover his or her strengths and develop them in teams. In addition, it is necessary to train creative thought processes and to understand that openness and personal responsibility are elementary building blocks of a successful person in a digitalized world. The teaching of the future would no longer consist of fixed, content separated learning units, but of complex and interdisciplinary tasks, which create incentives for practice and learning. The decisive evaluation criterion is then the ability to work in a team or “emotional intelligence”, which turns people into creative team players.
The economic and social system forms the framework.
Equipped with a good level of emotional intelligence, open thinking and the willingness to work for new solutions and act independently, students are well equipped for successful work in business and society. Whether they then apply their competences and skills in the fields of media, research or the programming of industrial robots and use digital helpers for this purpose, plays only a subordinate role.