In her session at iNACOL’s 2017 symposium, Katherine Prince will help attendees explore what it might mean to be “ready” in the year 2040.

Redefining Readiness: A New Foundation for New Futures of Work

Work is changing rapidly as the rise of smart machines and the decline of full-time employment raise uncertainties about the role of people in the workplace, what structures future work will use and how society might or might not support individuals in navigating the changing employment landscape.

At iNACOL’s 2017 symposium, “Personalizing Learning: Equity, Access, Quality”, I’ll be helping attendees explore what these shifts could mean for what it means to be “ready” in the year 2040. In my session, we’ll explore the shortening shelf-life of skills and a new foundation for readiness that places social-emotional skills at the center.

Babies born today will be graduating from college in the year 2040. This new foundation for readiness applies to them, as well as to all of us who will still be working and supporting learners then.
Download a larger .pdf of A New Foundation for Readiness, an illustration from “The Future of Learning: Redefining Readiness from the Inside Out.”

By emphasizing social-emotional development, this new foundation for readiness promises to support all learners in developing the uniquely human qualities that are hardest to code. Those skills, along with foundational cognitive and metacognitive practices such as thinking differently, communicating and creating with numbers and learning how to keep learning, provide a platform for human development that can help individuals adapt to changing circumstances, learning and re-learning specific skills as the need arises.

Redefining readiness in this way could mean that K-12 education needs to:

  • Enable flexible learning pathways
  • Make classrooms more fluid and open
  • Integrate social-emotional competency development alongside academic curricula
  • Redefine educator roles to focus more on foundational skills and practices
  • Work more extensively with community partners to help students stretch beyond their comfort zones and expand their aspirations.

Exploration of future graduate profiles at an “Ask about AI and Readiness” event that KnowledgeWorks hosted with eduInnovation and Getting Smart highlighted data wrangling, the ability to think in multiple dimensions, agency, curiosity, listening skills, and contextual understanding of civics and politics as some of the things future graduates will need to develop. At the conference session, we’ll explore these and other implications of “Redefining Readiness from the Inside Out.” We’ll also create future graduate profiles illustrating what knowledge, skills and dispositions a high school graduate might need to thrive in 2040.

Exploration of future graduate profiles at an “Ask about AI and Readiness” event that KnowledgeWorks hosted with eduInnovation and Getting Smart highlighted data wrangling, the ability to think in multiple dimensions, agency, curiosity, listening skills and contextual understanding of civics and politics as some of the things future graduates will need to develop. I’m looking forward to hearing what emerges from the conversation at the iNACOL symposium!

Interested in learning more about how you can rethink what it means to be ready for learning, living and working in an uncertain future? Download “The Future of Learning: Redefining Readiness from the Inside-Out.”

Katherine Prince

Written by: Katherine Prince

Katherine Prince is the Senior Director of Strategic Foresight at KnowledgeWorks. She is excited about the future of learning, transformative leadership, and building resilient solutions for a sustainable world.

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