Perspectives Project

Based on the structure of Jamaica’s STEM curriculum — renamed STEAM to include Art, I’ve had to create drawing lessons for grade 8 students to develop their drawing skills and toy with the concept of…


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How do we become future proof?

Studying on a masters course, a program which is designed to propel us into the next phase of life, equips us with skills and knowledge that arguably make us future proof. Should we be learning a set of methods or a way of thinking?

The skills that are seen by Nesta as these building blocks for the future are the non-cognitive skills which are emotional intelligence, in particular how to build good relationships and collaborate effectively. Social and emotional competence, particularly in relation to collaboration. Resilience and coping. Perceptions of self, self-confidence and self-efficacy. Motivation, goal orientation and perseverance. (Nesta, 2019)

What is interesting is how these are the building of the self.

But why are these elements not in balance today?

Reading the article ‘How millennials have become the burn out generation’ by Buzzfeed journalist, Anne Helen Petersen suggests that we are the burn out generation. Not affected by acute burnout, which leaves you mentally and physically empty, but burnt out in the sense where we believe we should be in a state of constant work.

“Why am I burnt out? Because I’ve internalised the idea that I should be working all the time. Why have I internalized that idea? Because everything and everyone in my life has reinforced it — explicitly and implicitly — since I was young.” (Petersen, 2019)

Within this bubble of putting education and then work at the centre of our lives, we have shifted other elements into the outer edges. And it’s the ‘other stuff’ that builds a different future from today.

Creating reliance and self-efficiency is what Dr Strahilevitz a professor at the University of Wollongong, has been researching into. Looking into a nonprofit called Young Voices for the Planet. Examining how watching short documentary films about children getting together to solve local environmental problems can inspire other youth to take similar actions.

This ripple of change for increasing moral engagement is taking action outside of a taught environment. But are the building blocks created within them?

If so, how do we create future, self driven, resident, motivated individuals, who become catalysed for change, while still valuing the importance of down time, so we don’t create a flatlined burnout generation?


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