When we grow older, we loose a lot of the wisdom we had as a child. The wisdom to accept things as they come, at the same time see the world in wonder, and ask all those questions that grown ups do not have the answers to. The wisdom to try a different approach than suggested and go for the impossible. Kids paint the sky purple, use their sleeves to clean up the spoiled juice and try to read upside down.
When entering a class room, a new era begins. Not only because of all the brilliant things kids learn like writing, reading and calculating, but also because of the rules we set. Kids have to sit down, listen, and learn about facts.
Kids loose creativity once they go to school and grow older. Every kid wants to belong and therefore most of them will do the same as their classmates do. Being original or different is not much encouraged, it’s all about facts and traditions. What a shame and how different should it be. Ofcourse traditional skills are very, very important; our kids do need to learn how to read, write and calculate thoroughly. But how powerfull would it be when those skills would go together with creativity and courage!
In this rapidly changing world our children will need different skills, simply because they will have different jobs than we had or our parents had. So next to the traditional teaching, there is a whole new job awaiting for us. Innovative thinking, problem solving, communication and collaboration are just a few of the things a boy or girl nowadays has to learn.
On Curacao, we are surely making progress. Digiboards are entering the classrooms and kids get acquainted with working digital. However, the system won’t change fast. It will surely take some time before all those 21st century skills will have been included in the programs. But if we are aware of what is needed, we can already start a small change in daily life. A nice challenge to broaden your own horizon and see how you could encourage your kids to do things differently, look for a new approach and improve communication. Not easy with all these attention-seeking tablets and smartphones around us. Make sure they paint the sky any color but blue!
Not only will they be better prepared to enter the brave new world, it will also make them nicer people. The broader the perspective, the nicer they will become. On a day where I was confronted with a small story about resistance towards LGBT in the classroom, I can only hope we will teach our kids right.
The most important thing we have to do, being an adult, is to actually see our kids, remember how we once were, and start letting go of everything ‘the way it should be’.