Recently I had the opportunity to attend an educational leadership workshop that presented the highlights of what the most rapidly improving schools on the mainland are doing. As you can imagine, as the speaker went through the lecture, only one question was of great importance to me…. Is Robinson School moving in the right direction and what should be added to the teaching and learning that is happening in our classrooms to keep moving forward? As the highlights were mentioned–well-rounded students, continuous professional development for teaches, classroom instruction that encourages the development of higher thinking, the use of technology– one thing became very clear… our school’s commitment to rise to the challenges of educating for the 21st century is moving in the right direction. The IB mission statement and its educational framework responds effectively to the new trends happening in the educational world.
What came next in the workshop was equally engaging. Under the title The Order of Things Has Changed the following facts were presented: Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. (And we all know they are working hard to own vehicles, but no drivers in the near future…). Facebook, the world’s most popular media site, creates no content, Alibaba, one of the world’s most valuable retailers, has no merchandise and Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate. (Source: Better and Faster. Jeremy Gutsche). Following this information about successful businesses that we wouldn’t have conceived decades ago, came an overview of the fundamental shifts in instruction… text to digital, virtual reality and online instruction. A new teaching design is in place to fulfill the expectations not only of colleges but of employers as well. High-skill jobs will increase considerably and these are the jobs that require a new generation to analyze, synthesize and evaluate.
The picture is clear, tomorrow’s workplace will need problem solvers and students will have to be able to apply knowledge across disciplines and into real world situations. Along with the Primary Years Programme that encourages students to become inquirers and thinkers, our commitment as a school must be to educate students for life. To be able to do so, student learning must continue to be develop through a completely different learning spectrum by moving learning from:
Basic recalling of facts, comprehension of content, explaining, justifying and challenging concepts and ideas.
As May comes closer and we look into the upcoming 2017-2018 school year, I am confident that Robinson will continue to grow in the right direction. Thank you for entrusting your children to us. It is a great honor to have the opportunity to walk with them through their growing years.