Every generation brings something new to the education table. That goes without saying. So far, however, we’ve been able to identify our students’ needs and adjust to their expectations and general potential, mainly thanks to the length of time separating one generation from another. Or have we? Nevertheless, we’ve been a group of self-proclaimed experts who have successfully (?) developed ground-breaking teaching methods based on our years of teaching experience.
But the times, they are changing…
Are we able to confidently say that we’re equipping our students with the skills that they’ll need to tackle the challenges of the future?
The gig economy
We already live in a gig economy, within which many professionals are engaged in short-term projects. Consequently, the people that work in the gig economy must be excellent at adapting to successfully compete in ever-changing
So, how can you prepare yourself and your students for this very alien future? Developing the following key competences will come in handy:
- Communicating in a mother tongue
- Communicating in a foreign language
- Mathematical, scientific and technological competence
- Digital competence
- Learning to learn skills
- Social skills
- Entrepreneurial skills
- Cultural awareness
Use it or lose it
An old rule in neuroscience says ‘use it or lose it’. All of these crucial competences should be applied every day in class. To do this, we need to take a more individualistic approach with our students. Since most of us don’t have the privilege of teaching our students individually or even in small groups, we must instead harness technology to reach our students with personalised teaching approaches.
According to the World Economic Forum (2016), “Technology can personalise learning, engage the disengaged, complement what happens in the classroom, extend education outside the classroom, and provide access to learning to students who otherwise might not have sufficient educational opportunities.”
The locker problem
Last but not least, let me tell you about my personal New Year’s resolution. I decided to join the gym. It’s like travelling to a different planet for me. I entered the changing room and realized most people didn’t put their shoes in the lockers, but on them. Why? I’ll have to use all my key competences to figure it out. Any ideas?
Radek Krzyżanowski is a speaker, teacher trainer, and a sworn translator. He’s currently running his own language school, which keeps him up-to-date with the latest trends in glottodidactics. Teaching Business English and exam preparation are among his favourites. His general interests include American literature and second language acquisition.