The purpose of this paper is to investigate to what extent secondary school students’ interest in intellectual development influences key abilities necessary to cope with the future of work. In the ever-changing world of work, deeply influenced by new technologies and cultural diversity in the workforce, young people must develop three essential traits to increase their capacity to quickly adapt to the situation in the labour market: openness to lifelong learning, critical thinking skills related to online information (of which online fact-checking is a key component) and openness to a multicultural society. In this paper, it is argued that these traits are directly related to young people’s interest in intellectual development but that additional interdependencies between these three traits complicate this equation.
The authors conducted a survey of secondary school students in the 12th grade (N = 1221). A hypothesized conceptual model was tested with AMOS software for structural equation modelling.
The findings show that students who are more interested in intellectual development are more open to lifelong learning. The relationship between intellectualism and lifelong learning is also mediated by online fact-checking. Moreover, the higher the interest in lifelong learning, the higher the openness to multiculturality. There is, however, no direct relationship between interest in intellectual development and multiculturality.
The results of this study will help making recommendations to three key stakeholders: young people, teachers and policymakers. They could have a practical impact on the labour market in the future.
This paper examines a topic that has not been systematically studied, namely, the possible influence of intellectualism on the future of work. The findings highlight the possible negative effects of a lack of interest in intellectual development on lifelong learning, living and working in a multicultural environment and processing online information.
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