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Re: U.S. Education Woes Threaten National Security, Report Says

Re: “U.S. Education Woes Threaten National Security, Report Says” Education Week 3-20-2012

Of course everything about the future ultimately depends on our children’s learning. Certainly the economy and how well it resources traditional national security activities is one dimension. But the bigger issue is how well our nation learns.

We as a nation must learn to become significantly better at learning if we are to compete in a world changing so vastly and rapidly. Because the future is ever less predictable our national security depends more on how well our children are able to learn in their futures than on what we think we should be teaching them today.  In that KEY sense, our education system is, as a whole, backwards.

What should today’s children learn in order to be ready for a world in which virtually everything known about everything known is instantly available via natural language dialog with inexpensive mobile devices? What facts should they remember? What mental skills must they have?

What kind of jobs will exist for humans?  What should today’s children learn in order to be ready to compete for jobs with tomorrow’s computers and robots? In what kinds of ‘knowledge work’ jobs will humans still be able to out-perform the ROI advantages of machines? In what kinds of manual labor jobs will humans out-perform machines?

Clearly there will be ever fewer opportunities for human beings who can only perform repetitive manual labor, remember factoids, or perform routine intellectual functions.  So what is the mission of education today that leads to improved national security tomorrow? What can we do today to best prepare today’s children for tomorrow?

Steward their abilities to learn – steward the health of their learning.

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