SINGAPORE, Aug. 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
Leading experts congregate in Singapore to address the critical systems necessary to ensure student mastery of required skills.
- Children must adhere to 21st Century values in order to thrive
- Critical thinking and metacognition identified as key competencies
- Pedagogy to shift focus towards process rather than outcome
Digital advancements, together with the likes of demographical evolution and globalisation, are the biggest contributors to the changes in requirements needed in the education industry. One of the most crucial challenges we face right now is how students can be prepared adequately so they are able to thrive in a dynamic world where careers they eventually take on don't yet exist and current job opportunities they study towards will have become obsolete by the time they are ready for them. How can education stay relevant and what does 21st Century learning entail?
This was the topic of discussion at the fifth Marshall Cavendish Education Conference last week in Singapore. With a theme of 'Putting Change into Context -- A Journey into 21st Century Learning', the biennial event, organised by Marshall Cavendish Education, a renowned global educational solutions provider, brought together some of the most influential local and overseas experts in education to share insights on holistic learning through curriculum, technology and professional development to empower teachers and engage learners.
There is no question that a robust approach is a necessity for holistic learning, which if done well, can ensure a smooth and efficient transition from school to the workplace. In the innovation-driven, rapidly changing world we live in, being able to read, write and solve arithmetic problems are no longer enough for employers. The upcoming generation must add to these attributes by acquiring skills such as creative thinking, ability to communicate and innovate solutions in order to command the attention of the organisations they want to work for.
Currently, it is all too evident that schools are still full of teacher dominated classrooms that implement regular high stake examinations. Too much emphasis is placed on the outcome, or the grade, but to be 21st Century ready, we must embrace change and move towards a focus on the process rather than the outcome so children can become much better at areas such as reasoning development, and concept explanation. It is the role of academic institutions and educators to teach students metacognitive methods -- the analysis of one's own thinking processes - and the ability to learn how to learn, to put them in good stead for future challenges.
Amongst the discussions held at the three-day Marshall Cavendish Education Conference, Maths was quoted as a case where students who understand the processes required to derive the solution to a problem through 'mastery' rather than applying formulae that are memorised and then regurgitated benefitted more. In many Asian countries and regions such as mainland China, Singapore, and Hong Kong known for their academic excellence where the 'mastery' approach has already been implemented with known results, there are many success stories, that other nations can emulate.
A little over a month ago, the UK-government announced a GBP41 million investment in 'Asian Maths' for primary schools across England to help students improve in Mathematics. While the 'mastery' concept will be implemented in Maths lessons, students should be able to adapt the approach and execute it across other subjects through their newly learned way of tackling problems and be 21st Century ready.
Lee Fei Chen, Head of Publishing of Marshall Cavendish Publishing Group said:
"We will see many changes in the world of education in the 21st century. As a publisher of print and digital education solutions, we have to ensure our content encourages a holistic approach to learning that offers interactive dialogue between the teachers and their students. While the discussions over the last few days at our conference have been about how to make sure education stays relevant, we need to continue to facilitate and contribute to the conversation between the educators, parents, students and media. The challenges around 21st Century learning are very much real, and we have to make sure we have the solutions for them."
SOURCE Marshall Cavendish Education