Education: A tool to develop citizenship

In previous articles, I have referred to the fact that a major component of any 21st-century-focused educational institution is to prepare and equip learners with a skill set that will allow them to thrive in an uncertain and unpredictable future. Initially, most of us will link this future to jobs and careers that, potentially, don’t yet exist. If they do exist, they will look very different to our current understanding of them.

While preparing our learners for future careers is certainly a priority, no doubt, we as educators would have not fully prepared our learners for their future if their careers are the only focus. It is not only future careers, skill sets, and technological advancements that are unknown, but also what societies will look like in the future. How do we prepare our learners to not just be reactive to the societies they find themselves in, but proactively shape what society should look like?

On this concept, well-known American philosopher, John Dewey states, “The conception of education as a social process has no definite meaning until we define the kind of society we have in mind.” Project-Zero, an educational department formed at Harvard with a focus on 21st Century education, develop this idea by writing that education
needs to develop Citizen-learners. Citizen-learners recognize the complexities and uncertainties of the world in which they live. They develop and share knowledge, form connections to their community, and take meaningful action to support their own and others’ well-being.

At King’s, our God-given mandate is to raise and release Godly leaders through education. A large part of this is developing a deep sense of social responsibility within our learners, with the understanding that God desires us to actively engage with society and have an influence on it. We want our learners to be individuals who are actively living for the benefit of others. This mandate becomes increasingly more important as we seek to develop our learners to impact the future world that they will live in, especially as we consider how drastically society has changed in our own modern

By Gareth Stark


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