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?

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