The world is evolving at a blistering pace, but teaching methods have hardly changed in the last 100 years. At BSB Sanlitun, we believe in building transferable skills for the future and beyond. There is still a role for traditional learning, but as educators, we must think about the skills young people may require (for jobs that are not even invented yet), as well as the facts they learn.
In the last 20 years, technology has completely transformed what is possible. Our role as educators is to inspire students to actively discover. For us, thinking is not a noun – it is a verb. It is something that we want to instill in our learners for them to use in future jobs – whatever they may be! MIT’s motto, ‘Mens et Manus’, translates literally to ‘Mind and Hand’. I take this to mean, ‘Learn by Doing’. Taking theory from the classroom and applying it in real-world environments.
Year 4’s recent trip to the China Science of Technology Museum did exactly that. Children were able to explore exhibits and begin to explain what they could see happening by applying their learning from science lessons. I heard children talking about reflecting sound waves and the reduction of volume over distance, completely unprompted other than confronted with a real-life example of the theory they had been learning about in class.
Not only did they apply previous learning but I also saw children ‘learning by doing’. Exploring and hypothesising; trying to figure out how something worked. However, the best thing I observed during our trip was the sheer excitement at being in such an engaging and interesting place. I saw a real thirst for learning – a vital skill for future generations.
By Francis Burgess
Year 4 Cranes Teacher