Crit­i­cal skills vi­tal

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS -

poli­cies they be­lieve would stop this de­cline by get­ting “tough” on ed­u­ca­tion.

The trou­ble with the backto-ba­sics agenda is it over­sim­pli­fies learn­ing and teach­ing.

Firstly, I don’t be­lieve there is an ed­u­ca­tion cri­sis and, even if there were, sim­plis­tic so­lu­tions are not go­ing to guar­an­tee im­prove­ment where it counts most. Sec­ondly, the back-to-ba­sics call seems to be more about want­ing stu­dents to re­mem­ber and re­gur­gi­tate facts on tests than teach­ing them to think deeply, ex­tend their un­der­stand­ing and ap­ply knowl­edge in new ways.

While mem­ory pro­cesses are im­por­tant in learn­ing, the fo­cus now is on how we de­velop the crit­i­cal skills … needed to par­tic­i­pate in to­day’s world.

Par­ents can en­cour­age these skills every day by ask­ing sim­ple “how” and “why” ques­tions. For ex­am­ple, how can I sup­port my child to play and how can I ac­tively en­cour­age my child to ask ques­tions and look for so­lu­tions?

The fu­ture will be­long to those stu­dents who own their learn­ing and are able to think crit­i­cally … The an­swers will be found by look­ing for­ward, not to the past.

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