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Dad, what should I study when I grow up?

I don’t know about you, but I’m really scared of the day my little ones will ask me that question. I even have an answer ready for the “how do babies come into the world” question, but this question, dear God…

At one point I thought I would recommend they study software engineering or electrical engineering. That’s where the money is and that’s where the world is headed.

Or maybe they should study entrepreneurship, or education, or maybe even art?

Or maybe I’ll relieve myself of the need to answer that question by giving them the same answers we got from our parents, such as “do whatever makes you happy”; or maybe that’s the answer that caused an entire generation to not be so happy..

“Don’t grow up, kid. I’ll be a grown up for you too” I can imagine myself saying to my eldest son. Today he is 8 years old and will be joining the workforce round 2035. I don’t even know which professions will be relevant when that happens and what skills will even be in demand.

“Why do I need to study math if there’s a calculator?” I remember Lilach from elementary school asking the teacher. I can also remember the look on the teacher’s face. She muttered some unconvincing reply.

In today’s world, in which a 4 year old talks to the TV and smartphone, does he still need to learn how to write? In a world in which the answer to any question is just a voice-activated virtual assistant away, do you still need to memorize information? Of course you do.

Or do you?

Well, most likely we will still need to learn how to write, but there is no doubt we will need many new skills and qualifications. Skills that are not necessarily learned in school.

The National Program for “Adjusting the Education System to the 21st Century” has determined several main necessary skills: the first are the “ability to communicate well and effective presentation skills”, or – in other words – “storytelling”.

In reality, despite dozens of new pedagogic programs that have been proposed since the change in matriculation exams in the 1970’s, none of the programs suggested over the years has been implemented.

Despite the waves of innovation and reform around us, the Israeli educational system has remained traditional in the broad sense of its pedagogic level.

I have no doubt that in order to create a better future for our children, it is our responsibility to provide them with many of the skills of the future.

But, do we have these skills ourselves? How many of us can honestly say we the ability to deliver effective and persuasive message to an audience?

So how exactly do we ourselves learn storytelling?


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