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We often hear an adult ask grade school students; "What do you want to do when you grow up?" The fact of the matter is, according to the MacArthur Foundation, close to 65 percent of elementary students will have jobs in the future that don't exist today. And while an interest in a particular vocation is important, being successful is not necessarily solely dependent on interest. At STEDY, we have a desire to help students reach their dreams, perhaps the most important thing we can do is enable their entrepreneurial skills. Since many of the jobs of tomorrow don't exist today, those students that have developed an entrepreneurial mindset will have more opportunities even if their career of interest doesn't work out. They will have the knowledge and ability to take concrete steps to do something and learn from the outcome. As enablers of entrepreneurship it is important for us to encourage students to make personal connections and help them become involved in face-to-face opportunities so they can meet potential mentors, partners, and experts. It has been said entrepreneurship is a team-sport.
Entrepreneurship is understanding the relationship between content and innovation, between the whole system and the specifics, between the procedures and creativity. With the internet and explosion of connectedness, the days of rote memory are extinct. The need to remember dates or knowing correct grammar have been replaced by technology that stores more information than any one of us will forget in a lifetime. However, the entrepreneur skills needed to manipulate and create technology to solve problems that grow and enable a healthy society are more important than ever. In today's technologically advanced society, knowing when Columbus came to the Americas can be important. However, we at STEDY believe the more important factors that will lead to the advancement of our community will be connecting the "how" and "why" he sailed the ocean blue; being able to connect the specifics with the whole picture. Knowing how the navigation system of the 15th century contributed to the nautical success and what geo-political structures were in place that led to the motivation and struggle to make the voyage will help students move to a higher level of cognition. Once we help our students master the connections of creativity and procedural knowledge they will be on their way to learning how to learn.
Today's elementary students will encounter new challenges. They will have to invent new tools to solve those challenges as well as understand their consequences (either intended or unintended). So, our obligation at STEDY is to create and provide conditions for learning, to enable students to be prepared and ready for those jobs that don't exist today.