Educating Children in the 21st Century – Episode 2

Edris Khamissa

Channel: Edris Khamissa

Series:

Topics: Education

Episode Notes

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20th Century and 21st Century Education
Schooling vs Education
What should be taught at schools?

Episode Transcript

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Our rapidly moving information based society badly needs people who know how to find facts, rather than memorize them, and who know how to cope with change in creative ways. Now you don't learn those things in school. Now it is the focus for the CD is telling me how we can introduce, introduce and include these things in schools, where we can't wait to introduce the creativity. My first question to you is the following. They are those experts in the field who make a fundamental distinction between schooling and education. Now, I always thought it was basically much of a muchness, what is the difference between the two, there are fundamental differences, you find that we look at

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schooling, the primary concern about assessment is about examination is about grading, it's about a few subjects as it were, and you find that education is supposed to liberate you. Education is supposed to help you to unleash your potential, you find that in schooling is force feeding children, it's almost like an oppressive environment, it does not consider at all the individual needs, there are no nuances is one way, this is the way in other words, the curriculum, the syllabus, is it colors, and the syllabus was given to us by the government, the syllabus we are using, and therefore, that in this school, there is no creativity. This is what we do, essentially.

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And I'm not surprised, for example, I think it was Mark Twain who said that his education was interrupted by schooling. So you find, therefore, that many of the successful truly successful people are those who have never ever been to a school, because their minds have not been circumscribed and confined. Now, you find that in schools, there is no individuality, for example, from teachers to teachers, they are almost uni dimensional in the way they approach things. And you find that school life itself has become today, often completely irrelevant. You find that because their preoccupation is the results, you'll find that many educators who might have been creative

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initially, who come to the school environment, they also become part of the system, because one of the things that really surprised me Xiaomi might, it might even surprise you, if you look at the beginnings of modern education, and they had three very noble objectives. The one was, they said, to make good people, to make good citizens, and to unleash the potential of the child. And I think any educator will not have issues that matter which part of the world you come from. But now they appeared to have introduced a nother objective, that has become all pervasive and their objective is to make the students fit into your society. It's almost like an industrialized model. You know, you

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see what you do is like a machine, be familiar you get into society. It's not about you, critiquing your society, it's not about you, becoming a leader is not about you effecting change in your society. In other words, you've got to accept the status quo. It reminds me of Charles Dickens book, hard times, when the person said, the beginning of the book, all I want is facts, nothing but facts. And in other words, I'm not concerned about the effect of the emotional Memorial, the ethical, the spiritual, this is what I want. And therefore you find that textbook learning itself is totally inadequate, and therefore that has been the issue in many of our schools. Okay, so, as a teacher, I

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want to turn out good people. I want to turn out good citizens, I want to unleash their potential. How can I incorporate education in the schooling. So what you need to do, again, is understanding the child understanding the potential of the child, making sure for example, that is personalized learning that everyone, each individual learns differently. Some of us are audio, some people are kinesthetic, and a whole kind of situation. So get to know your learner. In that way, you're able to respond to his needs. Also, try to

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bring into the classroom, real life situations, situations in which young people are going to deal with, for example, our society is so rapidly changing. They were some careers, or some job that we available, say 10 years ago be non existent. For example, again, I came across this, and this really shocked me. They say a person that goes to university, what he learns if it's technical, in his first year, by the time he finishes off in his fourth year, what he learned in the first day is already obsolete. So is changing. So what we need to do, we need to help children to cope with the changing world, right? So if you're only going to give them inverted commas, some information, some

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facts in the narrow sense, how is it going to help them to adapt to that environment, to cope with that environment, not only cope with that environment, to be able to be in charge, not to be in reactive, but to be proactive. So if we get them to be in charge of their education, you know, your parents have put you into school. So you there for a purpose, children are sometimes saying, Well, my parents are insisting that I come to the school. And I'm here just because I have to the aim is to come to school on a Monday morning and work till 10 o'clock, just for the break, and then work till one o'clock just for that other second break. And the breaks are more important the schooling,

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so the lessons in between is interrupting the social life and the lifestyle. We need to get the children to want to be there. So we think, yes, they must take charge of their education. Now, I want you to give me please, two practical examples. If I'm listening to you, now, I'm enlightened. Yes, I'd love to do this. Because I know, you know, in the back lessons are a bit boring children are not too enthusiastic. Give me two practical examples. And then can I just give one as a start, just say that, you know, I'd guys for the next two weeks, we're going to be doing a topic in English, where we're going to be doing understanding what personification is, your job is to go on

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the internet, and bring me some information on that, you're going to email it to me, or if the school is allowed, where you know, the kids are allowed to bring their laptop or their iPads to school for the day. And they come prepared for that information, that they're going to go home. And they're going to have lots of fun things of pens while I need to go online because they love it. They're going to go online, but they're going to be doing something constructive. They can come to the class and you as the teacher are going to just listen, they're going to talk, it may not be the words you want. Okay, I'm a bit nervous as a teacher, because I know I've got a beautiful worksheet

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done say personification means this, this is the key words you look for. Okay, guys, we've got three examples I'm doing as a teacher, let's underline where we think the personification is. Now, here's a worksheet you're going to do for me, and you paste it in your book. And I know when it's time to study, you've got that to refer to. So the change would be they come with the research, they can, and they talk, you put them into groups, and they lead the discussion, it will definitely not be examples you've had, it will definitely not be the worksheets you've had. But they now engaging. To me, that would be the lifelong learning because it came from them. I'm the author as a child of the

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example. And then as a teacher, again, remember, I'm still wanting to be that much in charge. I can then still include that worksheet, and said guys, we writing your examples. I've got a worksheet with blanks. And we say okay, Group A, Group B, Group C, your examples was super, we taking down your examples, how affirming it is when the quietest and in my mind is the teacher the weakest child gave the most powerful example is going to go home and say, Hey, Mom, that was my example. How empowering is it? The next day's lesson, when I need to do just theory? Am I not going to get the children's undivided attention? Now that was my example, if you can give me and the teachers just

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perhaps one or two examples, very practical, on how are we going to incorporate this lifelong learning? You see, there are three fundamental things. It was john Taylor Gatto, who said that schooling is like extended childhood. Therefore kids are very, very bored. And the example that you cited is a wonderful example where the child in essence took ownership. But we need to go even beyond that. The idea the for example, there are some schools in Finland now.

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Gonna be so seamless as it were, that they're not gonna have any subject specific matter, you know, is normal, the subject, I'm doing English now, that kind of thing. And therefore, some people are also speaking about how you use the social media, that you find that a dynamic teacher can incorporate other subject disciplines in his presentation, as it were, right. Now, the whole issue of lifelong learning is this is, for example, in the example that you cited, to me, it's still too grim Marian is too narrow, you're looking at a definition of personification. But, you know, for example, you could say to them, you know, what, I want you to write a script about a family having a

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discussion, and use that the whole idea, they begin to realize, that is no more learning in theory, but learning as part of life, in other words, the language becomes alive, you know, tell me a story about your family write me 10 lines about it. So, that would be the spaces in that way your personal learning, and also for example, you need a teacher needs to be very, very vigilant, right? He noticed, for example, that say shamima shamima is very, very creative. Right? Ask her to do an artistic presentation of it, you find for example, aka is very good, you know, in jingles is very good. Ask him to do a jingle, you know, in in a very poetic way. So what is happening is this and

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what you got to understand. The reality is there was a time, many, many years ago, the only salvation for any young person growing up in the days of apartheid was through schooling through university, that was your salvation, they spoke, but a passport, but Gone are the days gone are the days of an office, Gone are the days your computer could be an office, you could have an iPhone, or whatever in your hands. So things have changed radically. So we need to understand that particular change. And therefore what has happened, there is a big discrepancy between the changes, and the reality in which many teams operate in the operating in another world, another kind of planet. So

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what they need to do, essentially, to ask themselves this question, how can I make this lesson meaningful? That if I'm a 14 year old kid, how would I like to receive this knowledge? How can I make it meaningful? That is not theoretical? How can I make it such that he can apply it in his life? And these are important questions one need to ask. And what I like is, you're not moving away from the fact that we still got to teach the content, because the content still has to be taught. But I think what you are saying is, alter how I'm going to present it to the child. Because I know oftentimes, the teacher will say, you know, I've got to complete the curriculum. So you're saying

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yes, to complete the curriculum, but just alter the way in which you're doing it, kick that knowledge me to my next question, you know, main heading for the set of CDs is education in the 21st century, which means there's something different in what happened in the 20th century. Tell me what are the what is the difference between education in the 20th and the 21st century? If you were to look at the 20th century, they were characterized by the following and I would suggest, what differences should be in the 21st century. In the 20th century, we were hide bound by the curriculum. Number one, it was a curriculum. right to it was time slotted, you know what I'm saying?

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at a particular time, we need to complete the following things, these 12 years of schooling, for example, right, then, the other aspect of the 20th century is one size fits all, one size fits all. And this is a lovely cartoon, you came across it if you saw that, where this person is speaking to the fish and the elephant, then the line he says, Now let us see who can get to the top of the tree, then the natural feature not get through. Now does that? Does it mean the fish is inadequate? No, the fish is perfect in the water. It belongs in the water. So in essence, saying find out where the person is more comfortable with what ties inclinations what is flair. So that's one size fits all.

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The fourth aspect is it was about competition. Coming out first, second, and third. It's about competing. And as a result, one of the negative aspects of that I found this without generalizing maybe you're one of those that came out first, but you also contributed to society. I found that many of the students that have done exceptionally well at school in the earlier days.

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They are more concerned about themselves, about their own self enrichment, the self fulfillment, it was the average child who is a bigger contributed to society, because he had other values that were not perhaps recognized at the school. The other aspect that you find the classroom was a sole preserve of learning.

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Right, we made a distinction between the classroom and outside the class. The other aspect that you so eloquently emphasized was that you were textbook bone, right? textbook bone. Right? Then the other two aspects that I want to speak about, it was about summative tests. And the last one is a learning for school. That was a 20th century 20th century. And I would add one more thing, that in the classroom, we are part of a theoretical vortex. The children had no say, in any aspect of the school. Now in the 21st century, what do we need to see differently, the curriculum has given place for projects.

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Now in projects, you find it is much more student centered. They're participating in it. And also, it wasn't no more time slotted but on demand. If, for example, something was needed at a particular time it was done. In other words, it wasn't you're not following inverted commas, a so called sequential, narrow, logical, you know, linear kind of program, if there was a particular need. Now, you responded to the need. The third aspect, which is fundamental, as opposed to one size fits all, it was big, it must become personalized learning. Right? personalized. In other words, the child must be able to say, the students say, You know what? The teacher spoke to me today.

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Right? Am I able to do it? Why he said, I can use my own creativity, and do this in my particular way. Right personalized. The other aspect is a contrast to the competition is more collaborative, right? collaborator, you working with others working projects, and therefore you find successful companies are those companies that have teamwork. In fact, Jim Collins, in his book moving from good to great, he said, If you choose any person in your company, because he has one indispensable skill, in such an individual cannot fit into that because he thinks, you know what, I'm the man, they need me, I don't need you. And as a result, he cannot be a team player. So it's important thing. The

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other aspect is, before we spoke about the classroom, the soul preserve of learning. Now, it's become the global community, the global community. And today, you can interact with the whole world, the there is information available, you know, and it reminds me of another book called the influencer, where the person said, there was a time when you could have said, you know, what, well, I tried it, I couldn't work it out, I must have the serenity to accept it. He said, that's a serenity trap. You know why? Because somewhere, somewhere in the world, someone has found a solution to that problem. And therefore, my educators, my head teacher, I tell you, if you are going to

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remain at your school, I do not leave the school, you are a big fish in a small pond, travel the world, confront your real self, you realize that what is a problem is a solution somewhere else, they found a solution to it. Then the other one is we spoke about textbook base. Now it's web based. Now we are part, you know, of the web, these information. It's unbelievable, right? And normal of summative tests. Now they are formal evaluations that are taking place all the time. And the last point is very important. In school at one time, it was learning for school. Now as a point that you made your learning for life. This to me, This, to me, are the critical differences. And you'll find

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in the differences, what you really find that the Gone are the days of the school, the classroom, as it were, in the form that we knew it, that the teacher thinks he's a sage on the stage, the fountain of knowledge, gone are those days, because our society has changed radically. And we need to take that into cognizance. Thank you very much for that long, long description.

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But I mean, it's made me understand that there's this marked difference between education as it was education as we now need it to be.

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There, a lot of people listening are gonna say to you, yes, you know what I'm doing some of that I'm doing some of that. I'm doing some of that. And I want people to be saying that, I want you just to say that. Because if you if you understand that, yes, you've done that. That means you already know what you need to do more of, in order to get your foot a little bit more into a 21st century classroom environment. And were you using the web, were using the internet, where you can collaborate with the school in another part of the world. So it's just that innovation on the part of the educator. And that then leads me to my next question Idris.

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What are the implications for schooling, and the teacher in today's climate,

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you know, as second Robinson said, what our schools require is not reformation, but a revolution,

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a revolution, a radical, radical change. So my first recommendation would be that on a weekend,

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the stakeholders, including the students, ex students, the parents, the teachers, need to have a robust discussion about where we are, where we need to go to, and is fundamental, fundamental, we need to look at that. And then we also need to have perhaps someone presenting from a so called futuristic score his ideas, and he can talk about where they are moving to, in that way, what will happen, then we would realize that the journey that we have undertaken is going to be a long journey, but a journey of change. Now, you got to also ask yourself, this is a fundamental thing. People respond to change in three different ways. a visionary would initiate the change, a

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pragmatist will follow because the leader says so, but the conservative, he would find all the creative reasons why we should not change and change is the is the only permanent thing in life. So what I'm saying that we are moving, the schools are moving, but are we moving in the right direction?

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Are we, for example, going to contribute to the upliftment of our young ones? Will they look back at the schooling and say, my gosh, you know, what? They showed me the way they enlightened me, they inspired me, or are they going to say, whatever they taught us, is irrelevant. I cannot even use it. Because in another study that was done, they say, 70% of what you learn, in the metric examination is forgotten three months after the examination, and the poor children learn so hard it recently. You know, going back to what you just said, when you said that the recommendations for the teachers, the pupils, the parents is they have,

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as one would say, and Indaba together, it's important, getting all the role players together to say, Hey, guys, we think that we need to move in the 21st century, our class is almost there, what can we do to improve. So role players are having a voice to say, let's try and implement this change, let's take out half an hour a week, and let's get the children to overly engage in reading outside on the lawns, something different, I mean, I'm using a very simplistic example, I'm not using something so radical, in something more radical could be, let's say, in our grade, all the way up to grade nine, we're not going to have any examinations at all. But you're going to have formal assessments. But

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our formal assessments will be on watching you collaborate, watching you working in your group, and we assess you in your groups. Because if we can get a buy in from parents, and if we can get a buy in from the teachers, as well as the pupils, then doing something like that eases the pressure on the teacher. And the teacher is then able to use these creative methods because we're going to talk about how to be creative in the classroom just now. So now we get to set the stage for the teacher to say yes, you can be creative, but then we need to take away some pressure from the teacher. You know in in how to do that, but

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My worry would be, and I seen it in schools, you know, the child was doing very well, that child is going to feel a disadvantage now. Because that child gets 100% 99% beautiful stars. Always well done because that books meticulous and neat. And the pupil whose perhaps you Idris, whose books are unkempt, who hasn't, who doesn't complete a day's tasks, because the child just can't concentrate? Because you're the one who just wants to talk more than do, right? You the pupils gonna love this model. And your parents are the ones who are going to love this model. But how do we explain to both sets that, yes, the child who's being academically valid is going to gain some advantage as well,

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because we can see the advantage that the child who's, you know, not working so well in, the advantage they gonna get is, you know, they their self esteem is getting increased and all of that, but what advantage is it for the very academic child, you know, what, the effect, no one would be disadvantage. That's right.

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And you see, that's the point. For me, the school must be the collective skills that you have in the community. Because we have some incredible creative, very, very bright people in our community, they need to also participate in the school weather to inspire the teachers inspire the learners to move on. Now what has happened, you see, because we caught up in a curriculum, trap, as it were, we are products of our experiences, we cannot think outside the box, we, for us, it's very, very hard to imagine a school except the way we are in it at the moment. The other important aspect is this, that when you are at school, you would ask yourself, you know, who are the people that get the stars, who

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are the people who get the brownie points at school. So the point that you made, yes, the child that is bright academically, he also for example, you know, get his whatever, you know, his information and all of that, because he still will get the affirmation, because the teacher will still see

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the power that that child has in the classroom and marriages. So in other words, you find that the critical aspect, the long and short of it all, is, you know, identifying a need in the community, unleashing the potential of the child. And also making sure that even though you're promoting a, for example, the kid to do well academically, but you're not doing it in a tedious or boring way. Now children themselves are participating the process, the community is participating in the process, because what you got to understand right, and we need to speak about will speak about it right, is to look at what are necessary skills. Right, right of the 21st century. We'll talk about that. We

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talked about it, and then what you need to do we need to work backwards, you need to work backwards in terms of To what extent are our schools helping children to develop those skills? Also, for example, what are some of the attributes that teachers in the school need to possess? For example, also for a, or what are some of the character traits the students need to have? And we need to work backwards and ask ourselves, are we helping our children to develop those character traits, those skills so that they are able to navigate in those often the turbulent waters of the future? Okay, geez, you know, you've given me a lot of information. And I know we're going to be talking about

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this whole concept of character traits and character education a little bit later. But my my final question to you for this segment is,

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in a classroom, in a school, what should schools be teaching? That's a fundamental question. I believe they should be teaching kids how to think critically, how to access information. They must be literate far as the media is concerned, they must be able, for example, to unleash the potential, they must be able to embrace change, they must understand the world around them.

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What is it that is happening around them? In other words, we want them to be active participants rather than passive receptacles that they need to understand that in this ever changing world, there'll be a huge demand on them to do things differently, and they must be prepared to embrace the change and most importantly, to have self belief especially

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But there's so much of pressure on them to perform. And they must also understand that excellence is a never ending journey. I like that ending. Excellence is a never ending journey because, you know, there's the child who feels, you know, I'm perfect I do so well in school. And in the classroom, they are the ones who are disruptive because they feel I know the work so I can fool around and this, there is no more learning. But excellence is a never ending journey. I like that one. Okay, let me just recap. Idris and if you want to come in, you can come in at the end. We saying here in the CD that we want schools to be visionary in their thinking, we sing. And we spoke about the

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difference between schooling and education. And we spoke about telling schools telling teachers how to incorporate education, into their schooling. And by that we saying, let's learn how to make our children good people, good citizens, and how to unleash their potential. And we also understood then what a child is about in the classroom, we spoke about the potential, and we think teachers must teach children how to cope with the world, and that you spoke about that in your very last sentence. Just before I decided to do this recap. The teacher has to teach the children then how to take ownership of the learning. If they are able to do that, then I think we are on a winning streak and

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we moving them into the 21st century classroom. You then described the 21st century classroom, you spoke just about what the 20th century education is, and what the 21st century education is about, and about personalized learning, make learning relevant to the children. Then you also spoke about recommendations for teachers, pupils, parents, how they must have a conversation on how to move fully into the 21st century, and what schools should be teaching so that they are making learning relevant for the children.