Future of Education with Dr. Rhonda Lenton, President of York University

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In today’s episode Alex and Mimi chat Dr. Rhonda Lenton President and Vice-Chancellor of York University. As the global work environment shifts to new technologies with bigger demands, our education also needs a reboot. Hear Rhonda’s thoughts on the future of formal education.

Rhonda was a first generation student of her family, even though her parents never went to university, they made it a priority for her and her twin, to get a great education. She studied sociology which gave her a great grounding in how people think. And during the time of the second wave of feminism, she found momentum in activism, which compelled her interest in equality and social justice. This has been a thread throughout her entire career in academia. Firmly believing that every student should have a right to a good education, leading to work possibilities at the top regardless of gender, race or wealth.

“Resilience from an early age is a character i’d encourage parents to pay close attention to” - Rhonda [21:42]

The demands on students leaving college with a degree and entering the workplace, isn’t the simple path it once was. She should know, given that York is the 5th leading University in Canada and ranked 26th in the world on educational impact. Yet still she finds students struggling with the transition. This challenge is now her challenge.

“You can’t change uncertainty, all you can do is figure out a way to function in a world full of it”

- Rhonda [20:50]

Rather than giving up, she’s yet again, battling for something she believes in. That formal education still has its place, it just needs to adapt like the world around it that is moving so quickly. She says that education needs to be more fluid, flexible and work with businesses and nonprofits to gear students and companies up for inevitable future change.

Few errors in life are things you can’t bounce back from” - Rhonda [23:20]

She’s working with giant companies like Shopify to create a new “flipped classroom” approach to learning. Giving students more vocational and work based learning opportunities, with tutors acting more like facilitators to overcome learning boundaries and resulting career difficulties. Less about boring lectures, It’s been her goal to find emerging needs in the job market and stay current when it comes to providing curriculum.

Come join Alex and Mimi’s university and learn these things in this episode:

  • The difficulties of studying and working part or full time. Why the 2 don’t no longer need to be conflicting.

  • Masculine and feminine energy in an high profile workplace, how should I behave at the top?

  • Strength vs vulnerability, even academia needs to be authentic

  • Overcome uncertainty by being agile

  • Do our parents solve too many problems for us, can we cope with the modern world ourselves?

  • Having a commitment for lifelong learning, education doesn’t finish at school

  • Cultivate creativity and enquiry in your education and mostly make it enjoyable

  • Stop trying to rush the process, study when you need to study, work when you need to work. It’s all learning in the end.

  • Environmental concerns and sustainability is becoming the biggest concern for students

Hope you enjoyed this week’s episode with Dr. Rhonda Lenton , you can find out more about her here:

Secretariat.info.yorku.ca/rhonda-l-lenton

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