Glasshouse Christian College Principal - Mike Curtis

Are our students ready for the future?

There was an interesting study called the Longitudinal Survey of Australian Youth that has been released recently that identifies the most important factors that accelerate the transition from full time education to full time work. It caused me to reflect on these factors and take a quick audit as to how well we as a College are faring in equipping our students in this area. I thought I would share the results with you.

  1. An optimistic mindset. At GCC, this begins in Prep. We teach our young students what it means to have an optimistic mindset and at GCC, we call it a ‘growth mindset’. It means we teach the students not to say, “I can’t do that” but instead, “I can’t do that yet and I’m exploring ways to learn how to do it.” It means we teach our students not to give up but to persevere and if they don’t get it right the first time then keep on trying.
  1. Building enterprise skills. In the future world of work our students will need to have well developed enterprise skills which is one of the reasons our DeLorean Project has attracted so much attention both locally and abroad. Our DeLorean Project is run in Year 10 in small groups for most of Wednesday. Students create their own “lean start up” business that makes a positive contribution to our society. They create enterprise plans, websites and networks as they develop their idea. They even have to convince other proven entrepreneurs to invest in their ideas through our own “Shark Tank” where local business people are invited to take part. Whether or not our students ever run their own business is beside the point as these enterprise skills will be in increasing demand in any workplace in the future.
  1. Five thousand hours relevant paid employment. This is where our Future Pathways Education to workDepartment comes into its own organising apprenticeships, work experience, tertiary pathways and more. It also speaks to the importance of students having their own part time job and entering the world of work. It is difficult at times to balance this with the demands of study, but it is not impossible.

The report also employs a useful way of thinking about how we might categorise the jobs of the future and I include it here as a way of prompting a discussion with your secondary school age child about what they might like to do when they leave school.

The informers: jobs that involve professionals providing information, education or business services
The technologists:  jobs that involve a skilled understanding and manipulation of digital technology
The carers: jobs that seek to improve the mental or physical health of others
The designers: jobs that involve deploying skills and knowledge of science, mathematics and design
The generators: jobs that require a high level of interpersonal interaction in retail, sales, hospitality and entertainment
The artisans: jobs that require skill in manual tasks related to construction, maintenance or technical customer service
The coordinators:  jobs that involve repetitive administrative and behind-the-scenes process or service tasks

Over the last five years the categories that have experienced the most growth have been the technologists with 19%, the carers with 18% and the informers with 7%.

The report also goes on to say that In Australia 90% of future jobs will involve digital literacy and require applicants to be proficient in technology. Glasshouse Christian College has been leading the way in using advanced technology to enhance learning for many years. Long ago we recognised the necessity to equip our students for jobs and industries that haven’t been created yet. Our programs have been so successful that universities and schools locally and overseas have visited our campus and wanted to learn from what we are doing at GCC.

Just this week we had the perfect example of two of our students excelling in areas of new technology. Farming is one of the oldest industries in the world so it is exciting to see our students not only learn to apply new technology for better outcomes but to win awards for their achievements.

Agricultural Science students Jess Perro and Travis Kuijpers-Weeks did the College proud at the ‘Game of Drones’ Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Plant Science Project Awards. Jess took out the Conference Award and Travis came Runner Up for the Paul Johnston Memorial Senior Science Award. GCC came second overall in this national competition and all the details are in Jade King’s article later on in this newsletter. It’s fascinating to read what the students did to win these awards.

The future is bright and exciting for our GCC students and graduates.

For more information about the Longitudinal Survey of Australian Youth please click on the following link https://www.lsay.edu.au/publications/research-reports

Mike Curtis, Principal

 

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