Southeast Asia Globe - - Feature -

Tra­di­tion­ally, stu­dents are taught to achieve good grades and grad­u­ate with cre­den­tials. How­ever, in a rapidly chang­ing world, the abil­ity for an in­di­vid­ual to em­brace change, adapt and rein­vent the wheel is far more es­sen­tial in nav­i­gat­ing the fu­ture. How can we pre­pare our chil­dren for the fu­ture, based on what we know about ed­u­ca­tion to­day?

Chil­dren: Get­ting Ready for the Fu­ture

Chil­dren are born fu­ture-ready. They are cu­ri­ous and cre­ative. They pos­sess the en­ergy and drive to see through a task they are in­ter­ested in. It is there­fore im­por­tant to pro­vide stu­dents with a holis­tic ed­u­ca­tion that not only fo­cuses on their aca­demic per­for­mance, but also gives them op­por­tu­ni­ties to max­imise their po­ten­tial and help them to ex­cel in their ar­eas of in­ter­est through co-cur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties (CCAs) and projects.

Schools: Think­ing, Col­lab­o­rat­ing & Learn­ing the Fu­ture

In a fu­ture-ready cur­ricu­lum, apart from im­part­ing knowl­edge, the school nur­tures their stu­dents’ in­nate abil­i­ties to think out of the box. The ed­u­ca­tion scene is ac­tively pro­mot­ing STEM (Science, Tech­nol­ogy, En­gi­neer­ing, Math­e­mat­ics), ICT (Info-Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Tech­nol­ogy), En­trepreneur­ship and Lead­er­ship de­vel­op­ment. These sub­jects help pre­pare and em­power the stu­dents for the fu­ture through in­no­va­tion, col­lab­o­ra­tion, higher-order think­ing and real life prob­lem-solv­ing skills. To suc­ceed in an un­cer­tain and com­plex world, the fu­ture-ready stu­dent is also a well-rounded in­di­vid­ual. A school with a learner-cen­tric cur­ricu­lum is one that fo­cuses on the holis­tic growth of the stu­dent, de­vel­op­ing pos­i­tive at­ti­tudes, habits and skillsets for the fu­ture.

Teach­ers: Empowering the Ex­perts’ Learn­ing

Ac­cord­ing to the Oxford dic­tio­nary, an ed­u­ca­tor or teacher is a per­son who pro­vides in­struc­tion or ed­u­ca­tion. A doc­tor is a per­son who is qual­i­fied to treat peo­ple who are ill. Both are noble pro­fes­sions. How­ever, one is deemed more of an ex­pert than the other. The key to wit­ness trans­for­ma­tion in the class­room is for schools to recog­nise and em­power their teach­ers as ex­perts in ed­u­ca­tion. By pro­vid­ing av­enues for ed­u­ca­tors to de­velop their own re­search and hone their ex­per­tise, they will feel in­spired to cre­ate a dif­fer­ent ed­u­ca­tion ex­pe­ri­ence for their stu­dents.

Par­ents: Ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the Class­room

Along with schools and ed­u­ca­tors, par­ents are cru­cial part­ners in the de­vel­op­men­tal jour­ney of the child. Par­ents should be in­vited to sit in classes and en­gage in the same ac­tiv­i­ties as their chil­dren. Like their chil­dren, par­ents are en­cour­aged to ask ques­tions. With the par­ents’ ac­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion in class, they will view the school and its ed­u­ca­tors in a dif­fer­ent light and trust their pro­fes­sional judg­ment when it comes to their child’s ed­u­ca­tion.

It Takes a Vil­lage to Raise a Child!

Ed­u­cat­ing our chil­dren to be fu­ture-ready goes be­yond con­tent knowl­edge. It is also de­vel­op­ing the child’s char­ac­ter, val­ues and higher-order think­ing skills that will al­low him/her the ca­pa­bil­ity and re­silience to suc­ceed in the 21st cen­tury and be­yond. It is de­vel­op­ing an ed­u­ca­tion ex­pe­ri­ence where schools, ed­u­ca­tion pro­fes­sion­als and par­ents work hand in hand to­wards cul­ti­vat­ing lead­ers of to­mor­row to lead with their heads, hands and hearts. It is pro­vid­ing an en­vi­ron­ment where the child is con­stantly in­spired, au­da­cious and pas­sion­ate to­wards pur­su­ing end­less pos­si­bil­i­ties in life. The sky is not the limit. The mind is.

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