The world around us is constantly changing. From advancements and innovations within the tech world to radically different career fields coming into existence, even the last decade looks radically different from those that came before it. Our hyper-connected world has a future that is unpredictable. The World Economic Forum states, “Jobs of tomorrow are technologically enabled, but extremely human-centered.” One area that, at least on a surface level, seems to stay the same is the education sector.
If we were to pause for a second, and I had asked you to describe to me what a classroom and teaching looks like, it is most likely that you would describe your experience from a time when you were in school. The problem with that is that image, regardless of who we ask, looks pretty much the same, whether you were in school 5 years ago or 35 years ago. A teacher, standing in front of a classroom filled with learners behind desks, working their way through information that would later be needed to be recited back to the teacher in the form of a test or essay.
Educational institutions’ primary purpose is to prepare learners for their futures. If the future is so unpredictable, and career fields are seeing constant change and innovation, why has education remained the same? This is the question that future-focused education, or 21st Century Education, seeks to answer.
Schools like The King’s College and Preparatory (I admit complete bias in this statement), who realise the importance of innovation within education, seek to adopt future-focused education models. This looks like a shift or move away from educators standing at the front of classrooms as a source of knowledge, to being facilitators of learning and equippers of core skills. The content and curriculum moves away from being the end in itself, to being a means to an end. That end being the equipping of learners with vital skills that will allow them to flourish in whatever environment and future they find themselves in.
There are 5 core skills, or competencies, that should be the focus of any school or educational centre. These skills are:
- Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
- Digital Citizenship
If a school embraces this focus, as we have at The King’s College and Preparatory School, they will prepare their learners to flourish in their God-intended futures despite the future being so unpredictable. That is an incredibly exciting mandate.
By Gareth Stark
EXECUTIVE: LEARNING & DEVELOPMENT