21st Century Skills
We only have to consider how our lives have changed over the past few decades to realise that future rapid change is certainly imminent. As the digital age continues to explode with ever evolving technologies, the human race needs to become increasingly nimble and adaptable.
When we were young, importance was placed on learning and memorising facts, but how important will that be for our children in this world of technology? We believe that our children need to learn different skills to keep them afloat in this rapidly changing environment. Whilst they will still need to be able to read write and do maths, they will also need greater problem solving and critical thinking skills enabling them to think more on their feet in this fast paced world.
There is more and more emphasis being placed on ‘soft’ skills such as creative thinking, collaboration, self-regulation and problem solving, with a focus on holistic integrated development rather than traditional school education. This ‘new’ sort of learning places emphasis on marrying academic and social skills, with real life application. Research shows that children actually do better when they work together with other children to solve problems, evaluate a situation or clarify a concept.
And it is not only the responsibility of our educators, it is also our responsibility as parents to nurture and enrich our children’s development and thereby optimising their potential for this brave new world. The skills and tools we provide them with today will equip them to deal with the rapidly changing tomorrow.
So here are some key skills to teach our kids…
It is not so much about regurgitating the right answer, but more about asking the right question. We need to teach our children how to research and frame the questions that they are asking.
We need our children to be adaptable and open to change. Things are moving fast and having a rigid mindset or framework may not be the most effective way of dealing with this change.
Creative thinking is essential and we should encourage our children to think outside of the box and not get stuck on reasons why things cannot or should not work, but rather give them permission to explore… blue-sky thinking.
Developing Problem Solving Skills
It is so empowering for children to be given the space to problem solve for themselves, and not just be told the solution. Try and engage your child in something he or she is passionate about and let them set out to solve a problem. You will notice that if your child actually cares about the problem, then their search to solve it will be meaningful and enjoyable.
And so as we head into the future, we find that the learning process is as important as are the learning outcomes… it’s the journey, not the destination!
It is evident that we are heading for an age that requires adaptable, collaborative and creative humans so let’s prepare our children as best we can!