Do our classrooms look the same as they used to, 100 years ago or are they any different? Of course, discounting any fancy furniture or infrastructure! Is education being delivered in a way wherein everyone is expected to learn the same thing at the same time or expected to know certain facts?
We are all well aware of the evolution of machines around us and of course the technological advancements, the emergence of artificial intelligence and now the world’s first Cyborg…we sure have come a long way but what about education?
There are newer and newer professions coming up, even as you are reading this article. In fact, research shows that 70% of future jobs haven’t even been created yet! So what really is the role of parents or a school in the development of this new generation?
According to a report by the World Economic Forum on Future Jobs, Creativity is ranked in the top 3 Skills required for future workers. So let’s look at the skills that will really empower our children and help them face the challenges of the next century.
21st century skills for kids to be ready and prepared –
How can we apply this in the classroom? Is the class teacher-led or can the children be given challenges to work out a solution on their own?
Does the teacher encourage children to do things differently? Do they encourage the kids to try out new ways of solving a problem?
Are the children encouraged to help each other? Having them in a mixed-age group, like a Montessori set-up is an amazing way to foster collaboration and team-spirit among students. This way they interact with younger and older children and acquire the much needed social skills of co-operation, empathy, and independence.
Last but not least! Encouraging children to communicate their ideas clearly and effectively. Are we helping them understand the body language of the listener? Is there clarity in what they want to communicate? This to be given more relevance than the pure rules of grammar.
Simple measures that we can incorporate to help children develop the much needed 21st Century Skills:
- Mixed-Age Groupings: Older and younger make a great combination for effective learning.
- Noise Levels: The teachers should allow a certain “buzz” in the classroom. A completely silent class is very passive and hardly facilitates any learning.
- Encourage Independence: One should encourage kids to do things by themselves. Be it dressing-up, carrying their bags, doing household chores and also cooking. In fact, research says that children who do chores are more successful as adults.
- Focus: Activities for building focus and concentration like knitting, threading, hammering, needle-work should be encouraged and screen-time to be minimized.
- Conflict Management: A much-needed skill that even the adults struggle at! We can help children learn the crucial skill of conflict management by appointing them as conflict managers in their classrooms and the playground. Each child should be given a turn to do so and the magic is sure to happen with time.
Would like to end this article with the words of Dr. Maria Montessori who reformed education in unimaginable ways-
“The education of even a small child, therefore, does not aim at preparing him for school, but for life.”
Credits: The Primary Course- https://formativeage.in/
About the author-
This article is written by Stuti Mehrotra. She is a passionate educationist who has a rich experience of working with kids. She has been a teacher, trainer, and educator before being an entrepreneur and running her own preschool called Linden Montessori in Bengaluru.
Stuti highly believes in the Montessori Philosophy of believing greatly in children and allowing them to make their own choices and take certain risks within limits to help them in achieving their real potential as being over-protective with children makes them lose out on a number of learning opportunities. She is the founder and director of Linden Montessori.
Other articles by Stuti – How to make children eat and also choose healthy food