“We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist, using technologies that haven’t been invented, in order to solve problems, we don’t know are problems yet.” – Karl Fisch
We cannot ignore that the world is moving at a speed of light and that new technologies are redefining the world as we know it. With the advent of 21st-century teaching methods and amidst rapidly changing times, many schools and, indeed, many parents are struggling to grasp the notion of 21st-century education – what it is and essentially what it means for them and their children.
Today’s schools are tasked to produce children who will not only fit into this new world but who will also be comfortable to un-learn, de-learn, re-learn and adapt to the changing times. It is our duty to ensure that we do not let our children down in preparing them adequately enough to thrive and excel.
To paraphrase Arthur Ashe, what is important is that we start where we are, using what we have to do what we can. This article is aimed at highlighting a few points that will hopefully steer you in the right direction.
- Education is a continuous journey with upheavals, and we must always consider contextual factors when applying new and exciting education improvements. There is no panacea and we must often adapt and change things to suit our unique situations. It may sound simple but applying what you know is key. I have learnt over time that simply knowing is not enough, and that it is often quite difficult to implement your knowledge.
- We know that if children are not fully engaged in what is being taught, they are not learning. It is up to us then, to not only meaningfully understand how children learn and how to captivate them, but also to equip them with the necessary skills to adapt to future challenges, such as thinking critically, being able to solve problems and applying their knowledge to a variety of contexts.
- There exists a range of approaches to use, such as project-based learning, self-directed learning, inquiry-based learning, blended learning, and experiential learning, to mention just a few. All these approaches only find meaning within the context of knowing and understanding how children learn to meet the varied needs of your children and the future world.