Preparing Pre-Schoolers for an Automated Economy

When I read articles like this, I think I have lost all sense of reality.

The title is the same as this post but the pretentiousness is a mile deep.

Little children play with toys, and the adults who are watching them decide they are preparing for the new economy even though the adults have no idea what the new economy will be or what kinds of jobs will exist in 20 years.

“Technological advances have rendered an increasing number of jobs obsolete in the last decade, and researchers say parts of most jobs will eventually be automated. What the labor market will look like when today’s young children are old enough to work is perhaps harder to predict than at any time in recent history. Jobs are likely to be very different, but we don’t know which will still exist, which will be done by machines and which new ones will be created.”

Since no one knows, there is no time like the present to start pushing career readiness.

“To prepare, children need to start as early as preschool, educators say. Foundational skills that affect whether people thrive or fall behind in the modern economy are developed early, and achievement gaps appear before kindergarten.

“Nervous about the future, some parents are pushing children to learn to code as early as age 2, and advocates say it’s as important as learning letters and numbers. But many researchers and educators say that the focus on coding is misplaced, and that the more important skills to teach have to do with playing with other children and nothing to do with machines: human skills that machines can’t easily replicate, like empathy, collaboration and problem-solving.

“It’s a real misnomer that simply learning to code is the answer,” said Ken Goldberg, a chairman in engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. “We don’t need everybody to be extremely capable Python coders. It’s a way of understanding what machines are good at and what they’re not good at — that’s something everybody needs to learn.”

“It’s not that technology should be avoided; many researchers say children should be exposed to it. But we don’t know what machines will be able to do in two decades, let alone which programming languages software engineers will use. And children learn better, they say, by playing and building instead of sitting behind screens.”

Another way to say this is, let the children play.

from novemoore


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