Most of you know where we stand with making a change to how education looks. So it sounds really nerdy, but when the founder of Alibaba group stated this at the World Economic Forum we got pretty excited!
At the forum Jack Ma stated -
'Education is a big challenge now. If we don’t change the way we teach, 30 years from now we will be in trouble. The way we teach, the things we teach our kids, are the things from the past 200 years. It is knowledge based. And we cannot teach our kids to compete with machines — they are smarter. Teachers must stop teaching knowledge. We have to teach something unique so that a machine can never catch up with us. Values, believing, independent thinking, teamwork. Everything we teach should be different from machines. If a machine can do better you need to think about it.'
He went on to talk about focusing on 'soft skills'. Soft skills 'encompass non-curricular emotionally-based skills that are not generally measurable.' It got me thinking education might be taking SO long to catch up because - 'measuring' has become part of the wallpaper at educational institutes - it would be hard for these institutes to turn around and put a focus on skills that aren't measurable. The whole system has become dependant on measuring. BUT.... What doesn't depend on measuring is each individual child who enters a classroom. I can wholeheartedly say that by teaching 'what is going to be on the test' or 'what needs to be measured' - our children are completely missing out on revealing their true potential and developing a love for learning, creating, designing, inventing and so on. Exactly what the world needs. Exactly what is being presented at the World Economic Forum.
Once a child in our after school program was handed a bowl filled with objects and loose parts to create with. They asked us if it was a test???... It took a lot of reassurance the creative, process free experience wasn't 'a test'! When we look at the group of 3.5-5 year olds we teach each day - we truly hope that 'creating' never becomes a test and is never measured! It would take away how their mind organically works.
In our beautiful part of the world, we may only have a small community of people that follow our way of educating - but at least it's a start. The start of people deciding that they don't want their child solely focused on academic achievements without noticing humanitarian values such as kindness, compassion and peace. Soft skills such as collaboration with others, communication, creativity, integrity and emotional intelligence. Or measuring a child's success based on the grade they received - rather being present and showing an interest in the creative ideas they have on a daily basis. Education it's time to catch up.