I come from the best of worlds, the creative and strategic. My mum a creative entrepreneur and my dad a management consultant exposed me to a number of things at an early stage. I was exposed to domestic business strategy meetings. I watched businesses rise and fall; I understood being analytical, problem solving, fixing things, anticipating things that could go wrong and mitigating risk. Though I didn’t understand these were the things I was learning and doing at the time but as I look back 99% of the things I was exposed to at the time are a chunk of what I do today albeit at an advanced level.
Going through school gave me another perspective of life, as all we ever did was read to pass, we were judged by our grades, it wasn’t about how much you understood what you read but your ability to cram and pour it back word for word in an examination (I don’t think much has changed after all these years). This was reality at the time, the only bubble of life I understood till one day…….
I decided that kind of life was a tad boring, it was black and white, it lacked color, zest, most of all it lacked personality. When I got into the university I decided I was going to be a lot easier on myself, get to understand who I was and then adopt the best methods I had discovered to learn in school. This made learning easier for me; it reduced the struggles and accelerated my productivity in so many ways. I had a lot of Ah Ah moment! Whenever I found something new about myself; really after all those years of going through school (basic & secondary school) I was really just understanding who I was and this is still an ongoing process. Many of us can relate to ‘the school system taking the YOU out of YOU’. We come out of school still wandering trying to find our bearing, trying to understand who we are, and at this time life really is demanding for us to wear shoes our tiny feet can’t fit into (talk about not being prepared) but somehow we have risen up to the task and we are doing fine, grasping situations the best way we can; because we have no choice, life isn’t going to wait for you.
However, the big question is what about the upcoming generation. If the same systems, beliefs, structures our educational system adopted at our time are still running now then are we expecting a different result with the same input? I pride myself to say my generation is unique, we are very interesting puzzle to the preceding generation (especially those who eventually break out of social conventions and norms) but trust me nothing compares to the upcoming generation they are what I call ‘Dynamic’. They are versatile, they can’t be held down, they have so much energy- mental, physical et.al, their ability to grasp things fast; they are questioning, a bubble of so much potential and it’s genetic. Different personalities don’t erase all of these unique traits.
The big question is does our existing educational system have the capacity, resources and the know-how to absorb this energy, harness it and make something beautiful out of these growing population? How can we educate this dynamic generation?
UNDERSTAND THAT ALL CHILDREN (STUDENTS) ARE DIFFERENT
When we adopt the same pedagogy for all children we tend to rub them of their personality leaving the best learning experience to those suited to that style. Teachers must understand the children in their classrooms and understand their learning needs. Parents must also take time to understand their children, how they learn and interpret the world around them giving them proper guidance.
WHEN WE MAKE LEARNING SEEM AS THOUGH IT’S NOT LEARNING CHILDREN ACTUALLY LEARN
We’ve made process of learning so linear, serious and a one-way drive that it has become exhausting for our children, now remember I said they are dynamic, routine isn’t their thing at all and if we want them to learn or be engaged in the education process we must adopt dynamic methods. Let’s dismantle the boxes. It can’t be all taking notes in class, what about a field trip, a group project or individual presentation by students in classes? Think about it.
LET THEM SEE THE RELEVANCE OF EDUCATION
Does our present curriculum match up with 21st century needs as well as the aspiration of these children? When they don’t see the link between what’s been in taught in class, it’s relevance to their lives and the world around them we’ll continue to graduate regurgitated individuals who can’t form an opinion nor think for themselves. Believe me when our present curriculum doesn’t satisfy the curiosity of these children they go elsewhere to get educated on something that quips their interest and school will always be boring!
Over to you
How can we educate this dynamic generation?
@zedtells on twitter