A robot took my job! How STEM education might prepare students for a rapidly changing world

Cameron, Leanne (2020) A robot took my job! How STEM education might prepare students for a rapidly changing world. Curriculum Perspectives, 40. pp. 233-239.

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Abstract

[Excerpt] While automation has been with us since the Industrial Revolution, recent developments in computing processing power, global connectivity, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) have the potential to reshape our future labour markets. Analysis of the Australian job market found that 44% of current Australian jobs are at high risk of being affected by automation over the next 20 years (PWC, 2015). However, in the same way we can have full employment but no longer need chimney sweeps or town criers, some jobs as we currently know them, are highly likely to be displaced (WEF, 2018). Fortunately, history has demonstrated that new jobs will emerge. For example, 18% of the workforce today is employed in an occupation that essentially did not exist in 1980 (Lin, 2011). This presents a huge challenge for educators when preparing our students for their future. As the former US Secretary of Education, Richard Riley, famously said, "… none of the top ten jobs that will exist in [the future] exist today and that these jobs will employ technology that hasn’t yet been invented to solve problems we haven’t yet imagined" (US Committee on Small Business, 2004, p. 184). This paper considers the threat automation poses to the future workplace and then explores how the knowledge, skills and capabilities developed in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects should ensure that our students are well-prepared for the upcoming challenges of a rapidly changing world.

Item ID: 64405
Item Type: Article (Commentary)
ISSN: 2367-1793
Keywords: robotics; automation; STEM; artificial intelligence; AI; future workforce
Copyright Information: © Australian Curriculum Studies Association 2020.
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2020 21:02
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy @ 100%
13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130306 Educational Technology and Computing @ 0%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939908 Workforce Transition and Employment @ 50%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9303 Curriculum > 930302 Syllabus and Curriculum Development @ 50%
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