Life can be tough and while we learn subjects at school, life doesn’t come in that format; you don’t have an hour when you need math, or another when you need to know about art. Life is a mixture of everything and while academic subjects are important, there are some essential life skills that every educational institution should have in their curriculum.
- Critical thinking – If a person is unable to weigh up various options and make an informed decision, they will encounter many issues. This is a skill we use all the time without realising it and if critical thinking is not developed in the first 12 years of life, it can be a struggle to get up to speed. The top International School in Bangkok Thailand would be a great example of a learning environment where students are encouraged to think critically, and where the teachers are trained to bring out the best in all their students. Of all the life skills, critical thinking is probably the most important and every school should incorporate this into their curriculum; there are many ways to do this.
- Focus – Students should be able to focus on one thing for long periods, as this is the way that life is served up; project-based learning is a good preparation for the real world, working together with others to achieve a common goal. If a person is easily distracted, this can cause issues in their life and a good school will ensure that students are able to focus on goals and achieve them. Double lesson periods are one way to develop long-term focus; studying math for 100 minutes is a good exercise. A project can be worked on for an entire day, and some!
- Kindness & compassion – We should all be kind & compassionate; you don’t know a person’s story and they might be having a hard time. If you are polite and care about others, you will go far in this world and it costs nothing to be pleasant and polite. EQ is every bit as important as IQ and all schools should emphasise good morality and model correct behaviour.
- Determination – Students should know that they can achieve goals if they work hard and apply themselves fully; indeed, the school should be about winning, and hitting targets should be celebrated. There’s nothing wrong with ambition and teachers should nurture a competitive spirit. Click here for the best study apps. In order to have determination, one needs to be motivated, which is another aspect that certain activities can develop.
- Planning –This is one area that often gets overlooked at school; project-based learning involves planning, as the students have to decide who is doing what, the topic of the project, and what format it will take. Planning should be second nature by the time you reach secondary school and as students develop, the complexity of planning would evolve. An 18-year-old should be able to write a business plan and be familiar with all the aspects the plan includes.
- Adaptability & resourcefulness – Things don’t always go as planned and a person should be able to improvise and make the best use of the available resources. How do we learn to resolve issues? We get hands-on experience and face real-life problems in a cool and calculated manner, understanding what we have might not be enough; knowing when to ask for help is another essential skill. Teachers are more like facilitators when implementing active learning strategies and they know when to step in and offer support.
- Assessing risk – We are all ultimately responsible for our own well-being and as a child grows, they should be given more responsibility and allowed to make certain choices that may have consequences they had not anticipated. There are classes that can be taught to students to help them evaluate risk, with guided support from a qualified teacher.
The standard of education is developing on a global basis, as schools strive to equip their students with the tools they need to enjoy a long and productive life. When choosing a school for your child, make sure they have an inclusive education policy in place and that they view education in a holistic way.
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