Important skills your child should be learning in school
Last week, Swiss International School Dubai’s Head of Technology Innovation, Mr. Amir Yazdanpanah, was interviewed by Gulf News for a section of their article, “Are tomorrow’s skills being taught today?” In his interview, Mr. Yazdanpanah said, “It has been widely established that future jobs will require a workforce with the ability to think creatively and know how to effectively execute ideas, projects, products and services. Being skilled in STEM is important for future jobs, but I argue that having the ability to apply these skills through creativity, collaboration and innovation becomes even more critical. AI and Robotics may replace many jobs, but creativity and innovation skills will be extremely difficult to automate and replace with machines.”
It’s clear that the march of progress will keep on going, and schools and education will have to play catch-up if they want their students to be prepared for life in the future workforce. In this article, we take a look at some of the important skills that your child should be learning in school.
1. Problem-Solving Ability and Critical Thinking
According to the World Economic Forum’s 2016 report, “The Future of Jobs,” problem-solving and critical thinking are among the skills that workers will need in 2020. Being able to see how multiple fields interact in all their complexity, and crafting innovative solutions in response, will be important in keeping up with future industries that involve data analytics, artificial intelligence, and a crossover of many disciplines and fields of inquiry. Many curricula are moving away from textbook-based learning and are teaching analytical thinking in their styles of instruction.
Another one of the WEF’s needed skills, creativity has always been an important tool for the workforce, but in the future working environment it will become even more essential, as greater automation displaces a lot of simple tasks. A good curriculum will have students engaged with their studies, and encouraged to develop creative solutions and approaches.
3. Technological Literacy
Today’s children may need to be exposed to new technologies as soon as their malleable minds become ready to accept them. They’re going to grow up in an age of unprecedented technological advancement, with information all around them and new advances by the minute. Being able to keep up with fields such as robotics, AI, and machine learning will become important to their development as the future of the workforce. It lies on a good school to provide opportunities for its students to interact with new technologies, and integrate them into everyday learning.
4. Cognitive Flexibility
Adaptability and flexibility in the way one thinks will be key in the globalized, multidisciplinary future, where people from all over the world and from different cultures will interact, solving problems that rely on biology, physics, artificial intelligence, mechanical engineering, sociology, and a variety of other fields. The quality of a school’s curriculum, as well as how it raises its students in the learning and nurturing environment, will determine how effectively children will learn this skill.
Today’s school for tomorrow’s adults
Swiss International School Dubai’s response to all these skills is to cultivate them, not only at a classroom level, but at a pastoral boarding school level as well, in each and every one of our students. We make use of the International Baccalaureate curriculum, which encourages critical thinking and discourse over rote memorization of facts and figures. We provide extracurricular activities for our students to help foster creativity and engage them in learning outside the classroom, while our Innovation Labs allow them to explore new technologies and fields in their own time. Our commitment to bilingual education confers on our students all the benefits that bilingualism provides, including improved executive function, which leads to better cognitive flexibility. All these are in service of nurturing a better student who will be well-adjusted to working for the future.