The current traditional schooling model is mostly based on academic grades and rarely allows for both knowledge and social aspects to exist in harmony. It should not be one or the other as in today’s world both of these attributes are possible and need to coexist together in order to allow our students to flourish. I have spoken to hundreds of parents and some see knowledge based on grades as essential and others are more supportive of a social interactive and inclusive model. The truth is that both sets of parents are correct and that this blend of knowledge and social attributes are both vital and should no longer be segregated in the way that traditional education has done so.
Grades are important but concentrating on these alone will make your child’s experience of school limited to their success on how well they write exams and the grades they obtain. A big problem is that often to obtain good grades students become good at memorization and not learning or understanding content. Students who obtain strong grades in secondary school, often under perform in life as they were heavily focussed on obtaining high grade while compromising on developing life skills. Their limited exposure to life experiences often results in a fear of failure. They might even become selfish and non-team players as the pressure is so great to outperform others by obtaining better results individually. They don’t handle failure well, resulting in an inability to recognise new opportunities.
We should encourage our students to identify their strengths in subjects they like and allow them to become almost experts in these subjects. We should equally remove the subjects that they don’t like and will never master as these reduce their confidence as they constantly battle and struggle to get through them. Once a student identifies the subjects they enjoy and want to master, we’ll see an increase in confidence. They start to become known as good at those subjects and are considered to be able to provide help to others who are also doing such subjects. This confidence spreads towards their social activities and new friends are easier to make as they are not competing with each other but are actually cooperating with each other. A child may also become a motivator or a mentor to others and this is when the magic happens, socially speaking.
We need to use the technology available to allow our students to be taught in a more personalized way and in a more flexible way that allows them to follow their interests and fuel their passions. We need to allow our students to have a balance between Grades and Social interaction, between knowledge and the pursuit of their interests, be they sport, music or the arts. Only by doing this will they become more confident and kinder humans as they will learn to lead with empathy and enthusiasm. The balance between grades and interests is different for every student and therefore the success needs to not be seen in numbers alone but rather in the levels of performance in what they love. Yes individuals will benefit but the real outcome will be that communities and the world as a whole will be a lot better as their different talents are used.
Today we are able to provide bespoke education using Hybrid models of educational interaction to ensure that curriculums are provided in this flexible way. This allows students to work at their own pace and learn subjects that before were not available due to teacher limitations or because of limited demand for such subjects. The good news is that once we have sorted out the educational requirements then we can focus on the required social aspects by helping the students with their passions and purpose into the future. The future of work will require knowledge and social skills but the most important attributes it will require will be the ability to always learn more by not fearing grades or social attitudes you may encounter. We need future citizens who have skills and a positive “Can-do Attitude” to overcome whatever challenges we may face. We can no longer destroy confidence, stereotype students or decide on their futures using grades alone. Our students deserve better than this as we are losing huge amounts of talented individuals with this traditional system of education. It’s time to Be Brave and allow our students to reach their full potentials and impact the world in whatever area their talents, passions or determination allows them to.
We can all win from this but it can only start when we take the first steps in changing this mindset which has been programmed in us for far too long.