Look at the world around you. It is changing. Not just changing in an unnoticeable manner, but in fact, it is changing at a very fast pace and we are a part of it. I know, most won’t disagree, but let’s go with a few examples.
Anyways, the point is that the we are lucky to see these changes, but for our children, these won’t be changes. These will be their way of life; these will be the expectations of them.
Hence the question - How our children need to learn for the future? I intend to share a few ideas of my own. Just to be clear, I am not a professional teacher nor an expert in teaching practices, but to my child, I am his coach and I am his trusted mentor. So it is also my job as a parent, much as of his actual teachers, to look out for how to best prepare our children for their future that I described above.
Developing an attitude to research on various topic is becoming very crucial. Students should be motivated to research on the academic topics using external references from academic publications. They should be trained to identify credible sources and cite them. In order to confirm their understanding of the topic, teachers should encourage students to describe the topic, their findings and conclusions in their own words. This will develop the required research mindset early on in the academic life which will prove to be very effective as students take on specializations as they grow. Textbooks are a good source to grasp an overall understanding of the topics and to put a structure around minimum requirements to qualify for next levels. But I’d like to believe that the goal of this structure is also to help students identify and develop their area of interest. And to help develop their interest, supplemental research is required and hence the need for self-study.
The idea of testing should really be for the students to confirm their learning as against to prove where they stand in comparison to other students. Testing should be meant to improve the confidence not to shake it. Which is why schools should encourage on introducing continuos testing or quiz after every topic. Simple objective type testing may be used to lower the mental pressures. Students should be encouraged to go back to fill the gaps in understanding if they fail in any part of the quiz. Now, of course there are quarterly tests that could be more of focussed on proving academic requirements and deciding factors in moving to next grades.
There is a lot of research showing that parent involvement in their child’s education greatly improves child’s achievements. There are various methods to increase productive parental support in their child’s education. Reading together, listening, discussing and confirming point of views around a topic are few good starters. Some other methods could be helping in homework, guiding children find good references, proctoring home assignments, etc. In general, productive involvement by parents that would emphasis on learning and knowledge versus scoring and competition could go a long way in developing the right attitude and mindset towards learning.
I have a huge appreciation and very high regards for teaching professionals - may it be a professional teacher at school or a private educator supplementing school education. Like any other profession, teachers also need to stay updated about new developments in their area of expertise. In this fast-paced and changing world, teachers are challenged to keep up between administrative functions and teaching functions, while also learning themselves. Teachers need to use modern tools to offload mundane and administrative functions so they can focus on preparing themselves better which ultimately will help them work with students in a better manner. Teachers should attempt at researching and providing external topics that might be still related to the academics. This will help students confirm how the knowledge they are gaining can be applied in real world.
Like I said at the begining of this article, I am no expert in teaching practices, but as a modern parent and especially one who understands where the world around us is going towards, these are my point of views to start looking at developing and preparing our children for the future, which, by the way, is already here.