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Asking the question 'What Do We Actually Need', simply depends on what it actually means....

The inevitability of lifelong learning in our knowledge
oriented society would seem to imply that our school system 
is completed after tafe or university, and has very different 
objectives and characteristics than an education system if it 
was to consider learning after this initial education stage 
over a life time. In practice, there does remain a tendency 
for education to be assessed in terms of the achievements and 
targets that a short-term focused system has set itself, rather 
than the broader success in laying the foundation to 
life-long learning.

In today's knowledge economy, our memorization of facts and 
procedures simply is not enough for success. As an educated
workforce we need a conceptual understanding of complex 
concepts, and the ability to work with them creatively to 
generate new ideas, new theories, new products, and new 
knowledge. We need to be able critically to evaluate what 
we read, be able to express ourselves clearly both verbally 
and in writing, as well as understand scientific and 
mathematical thinking. We need to learn integrated and usable 
knowledge, rather than the sets of partitioning and spotlit facts. 
We need to be able to take responsibility for our own continuing, 
life-long learning.