TED Conversations

James Kelly

Managing Director of TED Australia Pty Ltd., TED

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Students do not entirely understand WHY they are making choices for their futures. A method to overcome that awaits us..

Education systems were initially developed when society typically was comprised of an "A" nucleus family and hence those children who built our school's and the methods used to educate them were adequate.

At present, society is changing ever so fast and has done so at an alarming rate over the past 30 years that our concerns have been focused on the global health of our environment, the economies in which these environments operate and to a lesser degree the underlying health problems that we are dealt with as a result of these changes. It is fare to say that these issues are of concern but I dare ask what are we doing at the root of what makes up these societies, that being schools - both primary but more importantly secondary to help develop a world of informed and critically engaged members of a global community?

The education systems and methods that have been used to manage schools have become a factory to usher the cohorts of students through year after year so that society doesn't have guilt that they haven't given some option to a "better future" for the youth of tomorrow.

Why is it though that we cannot offer our students better guidance from later secondary years (10-12) to help them transition through to tertiary education more informed with the decisions they have made up until that point? How you may ask? Simple -

Provide in year 10 a 1 on 1 consultation with each student into their personal aspirations and ideas they have for their future endeavors. From that meeting create groups similar to that of faculties within Universities or trade school or Tafe to help provide that student with better ideas as to what it is that they will be doing for the rest of their lives once leaving school. Within these groups facilitate discussion on the roles and duties that those varying professions would entail. Combine varying work experience programs with this process

This will create - Better grades at uni & school, more engaged citizens & happier people

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    Aug 8 2012: a consultation program such as the one mentioned ever so briefly above has more benefits then those ones mentioned -

    > by engaging a student with subject matter that is of their choice because they have become informed about the paths needed to reach their goals they become more intrinsically engaged. this alone would produce better grades and a healthier environment within a classroom for both facilitators of knowledge and students in respective classrooms.

    > because better grades are occuring schools and universities will therefor be more productive places filled with critically engaged citizens that will begin to make up that which builds our future communities.

    > students are becoming more engaged with their lives giving purpose to their actions and understanding what it is they are working towards.

    One of the biggest reasons I am putting forward this idea of career's consultations with students is because of the alarming amount of individuals i have come across who are 22-24 and have completed respective higher education courses or trades or diplomas to only be left wondering "what am i going to do now".

    This void that many young adults face seems to have been cloaked by a lot of societies as 'growing up' and I do agree that from the point at which you begin to make decisions relating to your profession or future to when you have gained knowledge from tertiary studies or other respective courses you are growing up but everybody is and that comment doesn't nearly address the issue as to why individuals are left wondering.

    The issue comes from individuals not being able to identify what it is they hope to achieve in life.

    The consultation program would not only focus on individuals desires for an intended profession but also health and general well being and how to be able to manage all these things tying in mental health support.

    The biggest problem that I am continually coming across is funding. When will the individual become important?
  • Aug 8 2012: But people will be changing their aims only if they have information about alternatives. In my opinion, having this consultation on an annual basis since grade 6 or grade 5 will aid career building and personality development.
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      Aug 9 2012: But one teacher dealing with say 40 students is unlikely to have the breadth of experience or the personal knowledge of the student for this exercise to be anything other than superficial. And most schools already have some form of career counselling.
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    Aug 8 2012: That's an age for having enthusiasms that may not lead to a career or reliable income. It's an age when ideas are developing and evolving. It's an age when the child is just starting to become aware of what the real working world is like. In other words, it's an age for keeping options open, more so because fewer and fewer people stick to the same career for life.
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      Aug 9 2012: so providing individuals with the best knowledge on what career endeavors they are interested in wouldnt be beneficial to them and they should take up the enthusiasms that take their fancy at that time?

      again maybe the reason people call it growing up and subsequently have changes in career, as youve so diligently mentioned is because there isn't a program like the aforementioned one in place in the past or present?

      society may cloak the changes that individuals take through out life as a journey or growth or another holistic fairy approach though if this change was put into place within schools on a large scale i believe from my findings and pilot programs that i have instigated within schools that that change that effects peoples lives in varying ways would not be of such worry. people accept that individuals have these changes in career and therefore have become accustomed to it. it isn't to say though that this is the best option for our youth, future communities and global community as a whole.
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        Aug 9 2012: It's about ensuring the child has a sufficiently rounded education so that they have the freedom to make a range of choices as they evolve and the world evolves around them. Neither student nor teacher knows the future, so whatever is put in place in school cannot cover the eventualities. It's good to give children an awareness of the breadth of opportunities which may be available to them, but it is not good to allow them to select a life course at an early age if that also means that they don't get a rounded education.

        There is another consideration as well. Not everyone is going to be able to make a living from the things that interest them, and they all need to learn the skills they need to make a living.
  • Aug 7 2012: Apparently I went to a good high school. I had this kind of consultation at least once a year during high school, from 1963 to 1967.

    The consultations helped, but I was still a very mixed up kid.
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      Aug 8 2012: So in reflecting upon a consultation program that aided your decisions for future endeavours your able to say that it was effective and helped?

      In what ways did the program not cater towards those factors that contributed to you being a mixed up kid?
      • Aug 8 2012: At that time I was having issues of faith, identity, politics (Vietnam war) and I had no emotional center. I do not think any kind of counseling would have been adequate. Some things you just have to grow through. The consultations helped me to pick appropriate courses, but I do not think any kind of program could have addressed all of my issues.
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          Aug 8 2012: I respect that you had a lot going on.

          Do you think those issues may have been helped as you began to have more guidance for future endeavors? identity and faith may have been built by having greater knowledge into what it was that you were working towards. emotion can develop as you begin to find things that you feel more passionate about and therefor something your working towards could develop your emotional centre?
      • Aug 8 2012: Things are very different today, and today a guidance program would probably be very helpful.

        I am all grown up now.
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    Aug 6 2012: How old is year 10? Many people have changing aims and aspirations well into their teens and beyond. Today's work patterns can encompass multiple careers, so there is a lot to be said for encouraging children to have a broad learning base early in life.
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      Aug 8 2012: year 10 is 15 years old leaving 3 years before secondary education is completed and tertiary studies are able to begin.