The foundation of the educational system has not changed much since 19th Century. It was created for the industrial society’s labour division policy and hierarchical stairway model. In the developing digital society, the context of the industrial society is to a large extent turned upside down, which calls for new policies and upgraded content for the educational system. This is something that Germany and Norway have acknowledged as they catching up speed towards the future.
Rebuilding the vocational training system is one of the fields that Germany is focusing on. In an age where manufacturing is automated and simple services are taken over by artificial intelligence, the human skills must be directed towards areas where they benefit most. This includes programming and other advanced skills to improve the production and work with AI and robotics. One important part of the vocational training is apprenticeships that now is being upgraded with the skills mentioned above, starting with business financed educations, like Siemens training programmes. However, Germany is still low performing when it comes to lifelong learning in vocational training and retraining. Kathleen Thelen says to MIT Technology Review, an MIT political scientist: “The German system doesn’t do very well when it comes to continuing vocational training—that is, retraining at the adult level.”
Norway is getting ready for a new national curriculum for primary school, which will be implemented until autumn 2020. The focus is to better equip the students for the life after school in a transforming labour market. Where the understanding of the practical use of the knowledge in everyday life is prioritised, which require more deep learning and learning by doing. Natural science will have a strong focus on technology and become more explorative and practical, while societal science will deepen the focus on digital skills. Well-being, life development, democracy and sustainable development is interdisciplinary fields that will be included in the curriculum. 100 teachers have been included in the work with the new curriculum that produced 6700 during the work.