“Throughout this year I have realised my own personal values have changed for the better as I grow and learn, both wisely and academically. This school is certainly helping set my own personal values and goals for the future as well.” (ASC student, Year 8, 2017)
These words, from a current Year 8 student in that year group’s recent annual survey, remind us what I am sure we all already know: that a quality education is so much more than merely learning facts and content; a quality education is about IQ (intelligence quotient), but also EQ (emotional quotient or emotional intelligence) and, in our increasingly global world, CQ (cultural intelligence).
As Founder and CEO of the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) and 2017 guest speaker at All Saints’ College, Jan Owen AM, reminds us:
“Our future prosperity relies on our investment in today’s children and young people, however, their capacity to contribute to Australia’s economic development is dependent upon receiving high quality education – one that focuses on developing the skills and capabilities required to thrive in the changing job market.”
Ms Owen stresses that changing this picture requires more than “minor adjustments”: we need to rethink our ideas about education from the earliest years to beyond tertiary.
“The traditional approach of teaching students to ‘ace the test’ will not prepare young people to overcome multiple challenges in an increasingly precarious world of work.
“Our goal should not be to ensure that young people are simply finishing school, but to make certain that every student has built a ‘portfolio’ of skills and capabilities with which to thrive in the new economy.”
Jan Owen stresses that the most successful education systems in the world are focusing on “immersive, real world experiences” that help build students’ skills and capabilities, thus helping to enable them to adapt to what is, and will continue to be, an ever-changing environment.
“In the past,” continues Owen, “these skills and capabilities were called ‘soft skills’, a term that under-represents their critical importance in the world of work. The term ‘enterprise skills’ provides the bridge we need between previously named ‘hard‘ and ‘soft‘ skills. Enterprise skills include communication, digital literacy, critical thinking, creativity, financial savvy, collaboration, and an entrepreneurial mindset. These skills are portable and highly sought after by all employers today; and are essential to navigating the future of work tomorrow.”
We have been delighted with our students’ enthusiasm for building their repertoire of enterprise skills – via a range of vehicles including, most recently, Creative Industries and Propeller Enterprises – and their take-up rate of our many curriculum initiatives in 2018, including a suite of new Certificated courses.
Our newest ‘vehicle’ – Djoowak: the Beyond Boundaries Institute – will be instrumental in driving this transformation of education, and we look forward to reporting further on the Institute’s work in the new year.
“In my time at ASC I have noticed the teachers and staff have really had a positive effect on how I am as a person. Things that I never thought I could do, I have done, and things that I couldn’t understand before have become clear for me.” (ASC student, Year 8, 2017)