The world is changing at an ever increasing pace with the development of new technologies that are beginning to revolutionise both the work place and society in which we all live; the implementation of artificial intelligence, automation, 5G cellular technology networking, increasing complex social media algorithms, robotics, advances in the medical sciences, the popularity of digital nomads and the ever changing nature of globalisation.
There is a problem however, in the way that we are currently preparing children to meet these challenges given that the majority of schools and educational systems around the world remain steadfast on their focus on academics and paper qualifications. Although academic qualifications remain important, children also need to learn how to apply this knowledge to real life experiences which they will encounter in the work place of tomorrow. In order for them to compete in an ever-changing labour market, they will need to possess the skills of critical thinking, collaboration, emotional intelligence, creativeness, leadership, innovation, adaptability, resilient and to become life-long learners.
There are some schools around the world, particularly in North-America who, being at the forefront of A.I. and continuing technology advances from Silicon Valley, have already taken steps to change how children are educated. They have achieved this by incorporating into their educational programmes, real life hands-on learning including Project Based Learning (PBL) and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). It is through these that children learn those skills that they will need to become happy and successful citizens. These progressive educational methods are a natural progression from the Montessori methodology. The Montessori environment provides a wonderful and effective breeding ground and incubator for this type of learning as this is where the very youngest child acquires independence, confidence, self esteem, self-responsibility, autonomy and time management as well as respect, empathy and awareness of the world. It is now time for education to change if we are to do the best for our children who will be the global change-makers of the future.