The world today has never needed more than ever, a change in how we educate children so they can become the change makers of tomorrow.
There has always been a great deal of debate on how best to educate children, but which most often becomes politicalised with the aim of achieving the best economic outcome and prosperity for the nation. The last major change to happen in the United Kingdom was the introduction of the English National Curriculum in the early 1990’s and whilst there have been various minor amendments, this has remained largely unchanged for the last 30 years.
The major of national curriculums are based on the premise of providing essential knowledge governments consider should be acquired by their citizens. This is achieved through memorising a vast amount of standardised content that is reinforced through regular statutory testing and the passing of written examinations for a qualification that can be used to secure a job or to obtain a place at college or University.
It is however common knowledge that the majority of educationists; teachers, school leaders and experts in the field, now consider this approach alone is not fit for purpose given continuing advances in technology, changes in society, global mobility and environmental awareness that exists in the world today.
To meet these substantial changes, there is now an urgent need to focus less on the memorisation of content (much of which is now arguably of little relevance) and instead use knowledge and understanding in a practical hands-on way that also embraces life skills of critical thinking, problem solving/anticipation, creativeness, collaboration and resilience. This can be accomplished through project based learning, STEAM and entrepreneurship that is already being used in progressive and forward thinking schools around the world.
There is also a need for children to benefit from blended and hybrid learning that will foster life long learning and acquire sustainability values that they will follow and pass on during their life time.
As traditional education has been significantly disrupted by the COVID pandemic and with the growing realisation that the recovery of nation's economies over the coming years will be dependent on providing a truly holistic education, there is now a real opportunity to change how we educate children for the future.