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Schools Must Focus On Skills Development

Our job as leading educators is to equip children socially and emotionally and make them confident lifelong learners. This will help them to be completely ready to succeed in an ever changing world

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In today’s world, change is the only constant. The concept of success has changed and so have the skills required to be successful in the 21st century. The US Department of Labour states that “65 percent of children entering grade school this year are likely to encounter work profiles that are not even in existence by the time they graduate.”

Our job as leading educators is to equip children socially and emotionally and make them confident lifelong learners. This will help them to be completely ready to succeed in an ever changing world.

Digital revolution, globalisation and neuroscientific research are the three forces that have changed the context of the world. Learning experiences are constantly redesigned to include new research in neuroscience. Technology is shifting the way our children will socialise, work and find a sense of purpose in their adulthood. We use this data and place a greater emphasis on the types of skills we need to focus on developing, such as collaborative problem solving and critical thinking.

Learning in the future will be an exciting challenge. If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday we rob them of tomorrow.
Technology is undeniably changing the face of education and the impact is already visible.

When used appropriately and in moderation, technology and media can enhance children’s cognitive and social abilities.

The future of learning will largely depend on using a balanced approach i.e. technology, social-emotional skills and personalised learning supported by engaged teachers. A new study has revealed insights into the knowledge and experiences students will need to be “life-ready” and not simply “work-ready”.

Personalisation is among the most effective means for accelerating academic and cognitive growth. Students who receive personalised instruction perform better than 98 percent of traditionally taught students.

Students place a greater emphasis on the importance of creative, social-emotional and technology skills than teachers do. The jobs of the future will also place a premium on these capabilities.

Students polled in this study want skilled, trusted teachers who know them personally. Teaching as a profession is one of the least likely to be automated in the future, so maintaining strong teacher-student connections remains more important than ever.

Personalised, inclusive and immersive learning experiences fostered by technology create opportunities to develop emotional and cognitive skills in conjunction with academic learning.

However it is imperative to understand that we will have to work very hard towards making our children emotionally stable and strong for an uncertain future that awaits. The bigger question today is how do we prepare children for jobs that are not even in existence yet?

The World Health Organisation states that by 2030, depression will be the largest crisis facing mankind. Armed with this knowledge and our understanding of neuroscience our children learn about the power of their thoughts and ‘internal stories’ at a very young age. Throughout our structured (reading, storytelling, concept teaching) to our unstructured activities (activity corners, drama and free play) we reinforce ‘habits of mind’ that lead to self motivation, confidence and emotional resilience.

Schools today need to have a more holistic curriculum that oversees the development of all the domains in a child - cognitive, psychomotor and affective domain - the head, heart and body. That way children will be equipped to deal with diverse situations of a demanding future. A ‘demanding’ future as no one is able to predict what this future will look like.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Lina Ashar

The author is Chairperson, Kangaroo Kids Education. She did her primary schooling in England before moving to Australia, where she acquired her Bachelor

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