I have two daughters under the age of 10 and I worry a lot about their future and the skills they are going to need to compete in the future world of work. At the same time as I am drilling my eldest in her times tables – which still seems to me to be a very important piece of rote learning – and my youngest in her number bonds – essential for anyone who loves Killer Sudoku – I wonder what skills they really will need in the future.

Given that in the ‘West’ most of us are educating our children to become knowledge or creative workers, then current speculation and projection suggests that our children will be independent or freelance portfolio workers. The ability to build and get the most value from networks will surely be key. Strong communication skills and the ability to build high profile and reputation for deep knowledge or experience in an area of value will also be essential. They will need to be good at selling and will need to be confident of their abilities on a global level.

Creative abilities and problem-solving will increase in importance – the ability to visualise a new solution or approach and then to deliver it.

So if I were designing a new curriculum today what would I add to it? – because of course, I would be too fearful to take anything away!

I think I would make debating and chess a part of the core programme of learning. I would have an experts programme where, individually and in groups, every pupil would identify a subject or area in which to develop a unique expertise. It would be great to find ways in which pupils could connect with others of a similar age group who were specialists in their area, through social media and online forums, in order to develop their knowledge and enable them to participate in a wider network of peers. 

If I could, I would provide tools through the curriculum to enable pupils to identify their strengths early on. For example, to use some of the psychometric and quadrant analysis to provide guidance on how learners like to think and approach problems.

What would be in your ideal curriculum?

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