Little Steps has joined forces with the International Montessori School (IMS) to explain 21st Century Skills and why children need them. The first article of this series explains these skills and the pivotal Four C’s. Now we delve even deeper and explain The Future Ready Adolescent, its benefits and how it is implemented. The incredible project of Wilfred to help children in Guyana is also described and used as a vital example of a Future Ready Skill.
WHAT ARE FUTURE READY SKILLS?
To best prepare and provide students with ‘future ready’ skills, schools need to break down the walls existing between academia and the outside world. This is necessary in order to prepare them not only for their academic future but also their social future. In the past, there has existed a skills gap between real-world jobs offered by employers and the skills that children are taught at school. To bridge this gap, schools must break loose from convention and focus on certain crucial factors:
Critical Thinking – Research suggests that a focus on developing critical-thinking skills is important for several reasons:
* People with better critical thinking are more prepared for the workforce.
* Critical-thinking skills can predict academic success in college.
* Training students in critical-thinking skills can improve academic outcomes related to writing and argumentation.
* Greater levels of critical thinking are associated with improved quality of life.
Global Awareness – Research suggests that well-rounded and responsible global digital citizen practices:
* Personal, global, and online responsibilities geared toward creating a better world for everyone.
* Is a selfless, helpful, and caring individual who is respectful of other cultures and belief systems.
* Diligent about being at their best with interactions of all sorts, both online and offline.
WILFRED & THE GUYANA PROJECT
As aforementioned Global Awareness is a key component of Future Ready Skills, and IMS’s Wilfred Ding’s research and contribution to the ‘Swimming Gear Drive for the Guyana swimmers’ project, is a perfect example of a Future Ready Skill.
The Project – In November 2017, Eneka Lamb, a former Stingrays swimmer began a project collecting swimsuits, goggles and other swimming equipment for children in Guyana – a country that has one the highest drowning rates. Her project got a massive storm, and soon she was able to send the children of Guyana 40 swimsuits, 30 caps and 30 goggles from the Stingray swimmers and their families.
Wilfred’s Interest – being part of the Stingray swimmers, Wilfred wishes to continue this meaningful project and strives even further by wanting to help children globally. This has expanded to helping in Vietnam, where around 35 children die every day due to drowning. He requested permission from IMS and, soon after other schools like HKIS and CIS, to allow him and classmates to distribute posters and boxes to collect swimming gear, which was a huge success!
Outcome – Wilfred had taken an interest into a Global Issue, and thus, by furthering Eneka’s project, he gained fundamental Future Ready Skills:
1. Complex Problem Solving & Judgement and Decision Making – through engaging his own school and other schools.
2. Critical Thinking & Creativity – Taking over the project and making it more global by helping other children outside of Guyana.
3. People Management & Coordinating with Others – Wilfred had managed to create a team of fellow students who he coordinated.