Teaching and learning policy
Why we do what we do
According to the McKinsey Global Institute, by 2030, artificial intelligence will have displaced 800,000,000 jobs, leaving an uncertain and changing future for the young people of today.
The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2018, estimates that by 2022 “no less than 54 percent of all employees will require significant reskilling and upskilling”. The report adds: “Human skills, such as creativity, originality and initiative, critical thinking, persuasion, and negotiation will retain or increase their value, as will attention to detail, resilience, flexibility and complex problem-solving.”
“Many pedagogical experts argue that schools should switch to teaching ‘the four Cs’ – critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity,” Yuval Noah Harari writes in his new book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century.
In a chapter entitled Education: Change is the only constant, Professor Harari continues: “More broadly, schools should downplay technical skills and emphasise general-purpose life skills. Most important of all will be the ability to deal with change, to learn new things, and to preserve your mental balance in unfamiliar situations.”
Lord Jim Knight, chief education adviser at Tes Global, a network for educational professionals, strongly believes traditional curricula needs to be overhauled. Moreover, young people should be allowed to play for as many years as possible because they will learn and develop skills that will be essential to flourish at work and home in the coming years.
Lord Knight contends that many schools “are stuck in formal pedagogies” and must introduce more play-based learning, through projects. He asks: “Why wouldn’t we want kids to learn by building stuff, making things and being assessed by exhibiting work, rather than doing everything through formal desk-based exams?”
“We can’t know for sure what skills children will require for the future, but what we can be confident of is that change, and thus the need to adapt, will be an ongoing and increasingly important aspect,” says Peter Twining, professor of education futures at The Open University.
“Flexibility and resilience, and learning to learn will all be critical. Therefore, play – an important element of how humans, and other mammals, learn – is vital. Digital technology can be a powerful tool to support children’s learning, if used appropriately, too.”
The amount of device screen time youngsters should be afforded for learning is hotly debated, however. “In Silicon Valley, there are boutique schools attended by the children of tech giants that keep the children away from anything digital,” says Sir Nigel Shadbolt, co-founder, and chairman of the Open Data Institute.
At the Story Forest, we recognise the importance of nurturing the natural human qualities and life skills, which technology does not possess, allowing for change and resilience towards this process.