We are living in a transformatory era, where knowledge is no longer an exclusive commodity limited to the rich and powerful, to be utilized and manipulated for their own agenda. With the development of high-tech super-speed computers, knowledge is now liberated from the crutches of the elite. This new-found liberalization of knowledge has generated a new society, where the sharing of knowledge has become the new norm today. Knowledge is no longer confined to the high walls of higher learning institutions and establishments. Knowledge has now liberated millions of people around the world and it will liberate millions more. Knowledge has also a hand in liberating countries that have suffered untold misery under tyrannic rule.
So how shall children of the 21st century attain knowledge that is relevant to their present as well as their immediate future? This is a pertinent question because nowhere in history have we encountered such huge transformation in technological advances. The industrial era may have been the closest to this, but what took almost a century to occur then, today it takes merely months. The rate of transformation is unprecedented!
However, if we look at the rate of change in the education scene here, it seems to be in some sort of a time warp – instead of leaping forward in tandem with global changes, we are going backwards towards the darker ages. Instead of liberalizing education, the authorities are putting a tighter grip on it. Instead of harnessing and developing valuable talents, they are engaging in a systemic destruction of young minds by systematically eliminating their creativity and their ability to think.
So how should children learn in preparation for a future that we cannot predict? Unfortunately no one has the answer to that question, but everyone has a lot to say about it! One thing that everyone agrees on, is this: we cannot rely on the old modes of knowledge acquisition. We need to work with new tools and with a new mind – a mind prepared for cataclysmic changes, a mind fueled by an unquenchable thirst for new knowledge, a mind that has an eye for a better future!
How do we nurture such a mind?
We just have to take the greatest care not to destroy children’s original minds like how our schooling system is doing with extreme success!
We nurture their minds with love, respect and humility.
We allow them to explore new frontiers with freedom and alacrity, even if it means breaking every old rule in the books!
We allow them to make lots of mistakes and to learn from them. Better that they make their mistakes early on in life than much later.
Then, and only then, will young leaders emerge to lead the way to a brighter future!