You may have noticed that education has been changing for some time. Some things are constant; encouraging children's natural curiosity, engendering a enthusiasm for learning, regular reading, involving parents, having a go and learning from 'mistakes' (discoveries - a growth mindset). However, the emphasis on learning by rote and learning facts has decreased. Instead there is now use of technology as a tool for learning and an emphasis on creativity, problem solving and skills over and above knowledge. This is application of skills to contexts is very relevant to the way people work and also discovering who you are - what interests you and what could be your vocation.
This emphasis on creativity was a key part of a very entertaining and insightful TED talk "Do Schools Kill Creativity?" by Sir Ken Robinson. This has been viewed 43M times on the TED website and 12M times on Youtube.
"Our only hope for the future is to adopt a new conception of human ecology... Our education system has mined our minds in the way we have strip-mined the Earth for a particular commodity and for the future it won't serve us. Creativity is as important as literacy in education — but schools can educate the creativity out of people. Today's education system was developed in the industrialization era, and as such, won't serve the future well."
View this highly recommended talk here:
I was wondering if the Church was already at this place and Education was now catching up? Messy Church, Hand in Hand resources, SU resources are good examples. (Sorry if missed your favourite - I know there are more). Could this be because we know that we are made in the image of God and He is the ultimate creator. Don't you get the feeling He loves creativity?
But I was wondering about problem-solving and use of technology. Are we making use of these to develop creativity and a growth mentality?
Let's take a look at a problem solving approach.
Instead of planning to intervene the next time a child asks for your help with a problem, introduce children to an effective way to handle their own challenges by teaching a problem-solving approach. Understanding the process of problem-solving is more important than being given a solution, because children can learn to use this strategy not only in the immediate situation but in many others. If it is allied to use of technology, then this can help generate new ideas. Actively teaching and guiding children to use problem-solving promotes the development of social skills and helps children develop independence.
The childhood environment provides many opportunities to teach problem-solving. Problem-solving includes five key steps:
Step 1: Identify the problem.
Step 2: Brainstorm solutions.
Step 3: Choose one solution.
Step 4: Try the solution.
Step 5: Decide if the solution worked.
How can you incorporate this into your children's work?
You could also use this approach if you are helping parents and other adults in the local community. Such an approach builds joint commitment to work together to best meet the needs and provides the added bonus of modeling an effective strategy that adults can use.
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Geoff Knott, 21/02/2017