“We can no longer allow there to be differences between university and the real world”. These are the thoughts of Martin Laba, professor in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver. He is the man behind huge global communication and education campaigns on matters such as the protection of human rights, community development and literacy.
In an interview with Morning Future, the professor explains that it’s necessary to get students “into action” in this digital era. This means having them working on concrete projects and clearly outlining the real-world consequences and implications of those projects.
According to Laba, the first thing that needs to change is the form of communication currently used in schools: this he sees as obsolete because it is unidirectional and in stark contrast to the digital era’s participative nature. which wants stimulating interaction and constant dialogue between teachers and students.
In a world that’s always moving faster, precariousness of today's world of work can easily unsettle young people. Laba advises young people to focus and learn all the skills that robots will never be able to learn: emotional intelligence, intellectual maturity and creativity. The professor defines those as no longer being just “soft skills”, but truly “fundamental skills”.
This is why studying humanities and learning those subjects in depth have become fundamental in educating the younger generations, as they are vital to being able to form creative, art-oriented thoughts. That’s what is missing from scientific courses.