Do you need to know that 12×12 is 144?

I have this week worked on what to look for when hiring people for some jobs in the knowledge industry and two of the articles on my read-list for the weekend fitted nicely into this topic – both were about the future of work.

  • My first read was MacArthur Foundation suggesting 65% of children entering schools now will have a do job not invented yet.
  • The second read was that the UK education secretary Michael Gove wants to ensure pupils know the 12 times table to prepare them for the future.

I struggle to see how introducing education of the past will prepare children for the future. I have hired a fair number of people over the years and I have neved asked them if they could do 12×12 without their reaching out for their phone, but I have often asked them how they would solve a problem or asked to think how they would response to a situation I describe to them and they haven’t experienced before.

I strongly belive the ability to think and build solution to a problem is becoming much more important as the knowledge era takes over from the industrial era. Knowing the answer to 12×12 was a questions that was improtant in the past, today it is important to know respond to a complex fast changing world with 144 challenges and oppotunites.


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