Embrace fresh methods of learning for new generation

Mathonsi Msizi and Thandiswe Shabane, Grade 1 pupils from St Christophers Primary in Kwadukuza, KwaZulu-Natal, use tablets for better learning outcome.
Mathonsi Msizi and Thandiswe Shabane, Grade 1 pupils from St Christophers Primary in Kwadukuza, KwaZulu-Natal, use tablets for better learning outcome.
Image: JACKIE CLAUSEN

Traditional approach to education needs to be revolutionised to ensure best outcomes for the current generation of school children.

Jenny Coetzee, career educator and founding member of the Crawford School La Lucia, said schools must adapt to the Generation Alpha approach.

Generation Alpha represents children born after 2010, who are at the beginning stages of their school careers.

"It is imperative that schools nurture a global outlook and develop critical thinking and problem solving skills, while also focusing on entrepreneurship and new technological fields," Coetzee said.

She said today's generations lived in an open book environment a few clicks away from any information.

"They can connect in a border-less world across countries and cultures and they communicate in a post-literate community where texts and tweets are brief."

"Schools should put special emphasis on developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills so that students are equipped to see problems from different angles," Coetzee said.

She said even though technology must be embraced, what is important is that it should be effectively used to improve learning outcomes.

"In order to achieve this, schools must be equipped with high speed internet and embrace the value of social platforms. Students must also be exposed to new technologies such as 3D printing, drones and robotics," she said.

She said teachers must be trained in the latest strategies.

"Children come to us naturally curious about their world and wanting to explore it. As teachers we need to continue to nurture them to develop their curiosity," Coetzee said.

Coetzee said people may not know exactly what lies ahead for their children but at least they know what skills and tools they will need.

"They need to think critically, to work as a team but most of all to be curious and excited about learning in this world that is so different from the world in which we were raised," Coetzee said.

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