Thirty years ago, our parents could never have imagined that today, we could watch movies, order groceries, and book a car — much less an overseas vacation — via our mobile phones. Projectionists, cashiers, taxi dispatchers, and travel agents — who needs those? Technology is advancing faster than ever before, and job opportunities and work demands of our children’s future will be equally unrecognisable to us. While we can’t prepare our children for a world we can’t imagine, we can equip them with essential future skills so that they can adapt to whatever lies ahead.
#1 – Asking Questions
In the past, most people got their daily dose of (delayed) world news through physical newspapers, radio, and television. Today, many of us consume news digitally and often almost instantaneously. To learn something new, we simply ‘Google it’ or watch a YouTube video. Furthermore, with information changing all the time, training children to memorise today’s facts will not help them in the future. Instead, teach them to search for answers by learning how to ask the right questions. And crucially, how to sieve out fake news.
#2 – Solving Problems
How much of what you
learnt memorised in school do you still remember? Probably only subjects you enjoyed, right? If the goal is purely to score well in tests, studying becomes a chore, often with minimal long-term benefits. However, if your child is invested in a topic they care about or a problem that they identify with, learning about it or finding solutions becomes meaningful. Stop focusing on the ends (the results) and encourage your child to enjoy the means (the learning process). When they do, they’ll do whatever it takes to find the solution themselves.
(See also: Teach your Child to Overcome the Fear of Failure)
#3 – Resilience
Nobody likes to fail, but learning from past mistakes and discovering how to improve is a vital skill. When you allow children to take risks and experience falls, scrapes, and failures, each incident builds another layer of resilience. For instance, interrupting a potential playground fight deprives them of the chance to navigate obstacles and fortify themselves for the next challenge. Kids often just need time to argue and figure things out among themselves — preferably without adult intervention unless absolutely necessary.
#4 – Adaptability
Remember Kodak film? Or Nokia phones? These brands were once the giants of their industries. But their stories demonstrate that fixating on one thing can be precarious in a world undergoing constant disruption. To thrive in the future requires a flexible mindset that’s able to continually change direction. Instead of insisting they do things the ‘best’ way, encourage them to be resourceful and use everything at their disposal. Project-based learning is another excellent tool that offers them the chance to experiment, innovate, and make tweaks along the way.
#5 – Creativity
When we focus only on our children’s academic achievements, they don’t have time to develop other interests and skills. This is particularly detrimental for younger children because it curtails their potential in the long run. Better still, expose your child to different experiences so they can discover unique talents and passions. They can enjoy ballet and football and science. Besides, your five-year-old who spends hours doodling or playing with LEGO bricks instead of memorising their spelling list could be an architect of the future!
Build Future Skills with Cambridge Pre-School’s iSTEAM Curriculum
The best time to start equipping the next generation with these essential future skills is at preschool age. Cambridge Pre-School does so through iSTEAM (Innovation, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics). By embracing the philosophy of ‘thinking with hands’, the iSTEAM pedagogy comprises of hands-on inquiry and open-ended exploration of exciting and interesting topics.
Moreover, Cambridge Pre-School also provides an English and Chinese literacy-rich environment, where children will build a strong foundation in reading, writing, and communication skills. At the same time, using the Multiple Intelligences framework, teachers seek to nurture each child’s unique talents to give them a competitive edge in their future world.
Most importantly, through such varied experiences, children will
- learn how to frame their questions to get the answers they need
- develop a thirst for inquiry and problem-solving
- build a mindset of fortitude and resilience
- become resourceful and adaptable
- discover uniquely human talents that robots cannot replace
Chinese New Year is a time for new beginnings. This January, Cambridge Pre-School invites you to see for yourself how its award-winning curriculum works to inculcate essential future skills in your child. Sign up for a school tour this month and receive an $888* angpow for an auspicious start to your child’s learning journey!
* Terms and conditions apply