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29.10.2015

Learning to educate: different views on the learning process

Image | Roman Drits

Educating the next generation is essential to ensuring social progress. Parents, teachers and guardians are the main agents involved in the process of educating, each through their own approach. Throughout history, moreover, each era has posed a different challenge with reference to the education of children and youth: the reappraisal of emotional education, the stimulation of creativity, and teachers’ adjustment to new subjects, such as the introduction of technology, are some of the challenges to be met in the 21st century.

In light of the new trends in education and the changes being implemented in classrooms day after day, initiatives like the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talks are central to the diffusion and dissemination of ideas that reinvent the way we educate. In Spain, Gestionando hijos (“Managing children”) is another project promoting the exchange of ideas to assist parents in their educational efforts. How can independence be instilled in children? What kind of setting favours enhanced coexistence? How does one educate a child to live in the new technological environment?

Identifying and promoting talent

In one of the talks organized by “Gestionando hijos”, Fernando Botella, a specialist in creativity, talent management and emotional intelligence, described some of the keys to promoting children’s talent: preparation to successfully handle unpredictable circumstances, acceptance of the child’s own space, promoting enthusiasm for undertaking different things, and the inculcation of qualities like humility.

Also related to the search for talent, the artist and writer Emily Wapnick, in her TED talk on “Why some of us don’t have one true calling” referred to multipotentiality: the ability of a person who, instead of developing just one major talent, engages in multiple pursuits over his/her lifetime.

Learning in and outside the classroom

Learning in the context of the official education system is what has always been expected of children and adolescents. Nevertheless, traditional education systems do not always yield the results expected of them. Therefore, the writer John Green recommends education via online video as a complement to regulated education systems.

Finally, at a particularly enlightening TED session, Ramsey Musallam, a high school Chemistry teacher, stated that the most important aspect of the learning process for students is stimulating their curiosity. Musallam discovered the true seeds of real learning in students’ questions, and proposed “3 Rules to Spark Learning.”

The process of educating a child is complex. Parents and members of the academic community must join forces so that students overcome all the educational challenges they encounter and develop as people. In this endeavour it is very important that they be continuously engaged in projects and initiatives that can help them make informed decisions.

The mSchools educational programme, backed by Mobile World Capital Barcelona, for example, is a multifaceted initiative designed to bolster student learning and teacher training through the integration of mobile technology into the classroom. Tools such as the Mobile History Map application, the App Education course, and the Toolbox educational support platform help students develop important new digital skills and prepare them for the future.

We are always learning, at every moment of our lives. Drawing upon the right instruments only enriches and strengthens this process.