This post may be from 2017, but well worth the reminder! I wonder if we can add to it? Let us know your thoughts!
Change is the only constant in the world we live in. Change is happening quickly and is so radical, that an estimated 65% of the jobs our now primary school aged children will be applying for in the future, do not yet exist. So what sort of knowledge will be useful to our children? What is the role of education in preparing our children for life in the future we know nothing about?
As a parent, what do you think education is for? What is the aim and purpose of education?
At Freerange, we feel that there are too many unknowns in the future for us to feel confident in any content based curriculum. Us humans are still trying to solve life’s mysteries and problems. We are required to question and learn perpetually. Learning is a journey with no end.
So instead of content, we work around 8 “survival skills”.
1. Critical thinking. It’s important to know how to ask good questions and analyse what’s causing a problem or not working well. Good problem solving skills start with good questions.
2. Team work. Collaboration on a global scale, across different networks, will be an increasingly useful skill. We can start preparing our children for this by promoting intercultural understanding and encouraging team work. Working as a group toward a common goal is something that naturally happens at Freerange every day.
3. Adaptability. In this quick changing world of ours, we need to be able to redefine our goals and strategies continually. We need to be able to let go of what we’ve learned and learn again. When children truly learn something in depth (quality beats quantity), they are able to transfer the skills and knowledge to other areas of life seamlessly. This is why we value building real relationship with what is learned, not only to regurgitate information to pass a test.
4. Entrepreneurship and initiative. Whether dreaming of becoming an artisan, self- employment in general or climbing the corporate ladder, it’s important to be able to seek out opportunities and come up with new ideas and strategies for improvement.
Our children need to grow up in an environment that teaches the importance of self-motivation and self-assessment. Tests and exams teach children to meet goals set by others.
5. Good communication skills. Written and oral. Communication is an extension of clear thinking. The fiercer competition for jobs and contracts gets, the more important it is to be able to present your argument or proposal persuasively. And to stand out as an entrepreneur… the ability to inspire others with passion and truly convey what you are trying to say. Exchanging information through conversation is an important part of the day at Freerange.
6. Assessment and analysis of information. True or false? Fake or real? In this era of information we need to know how to extract and filter the authentic and relevant stuff from the rest.
7. Imagination. As Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge”. We need awe and wonder of the world around us, this natural childlike quality, to imagine something even better. Creativity is a gateway.
8. Self-sufficiency. Practical skills of growing food, cooking, fixing things, looking after your environment… Connecting with nature and the world around us through routine daily tasks is a wonderful part of a good foundation.
When thinking about homeschooling or unschooling, many questions will race through parents’ minds. What is good life made of? Am I doing enough? Will my child be successful?
We would like to add to this never ending list of questions. In this world full of things to learn about… what is worth learning? If you focus on bringing up a 30 year old, how does this change your view?
These questions never end, but we get better at handling them. We get better at trusting our children’s innate desire and ability to learn whatever it is they need to learn. Whatever it is that they feel is worth learning.
The path is unique. Interests and passions are unique. At Freerange, our biggest joy, is to see individuals discover what their dreams are made of.