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Young children use physics, not previous rewards, to learn about tools

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“The findings of the study, based on the Aesop’s fable The Crow and the Pitcher, help solve a debate about whether children learning to use tools are genuinely learning about physical causation or are just driven by what action previously led to a treat. Learning about causality – about the physical rules that govern the world around us – is a crucial part of our cognitive development. From our observations and the outcome of our own actions, we build an idea – a model – of which tools are functional for particular jobs, and which are not.” (more)

3 ways to support creative problem-solving in schools

E-School News – Laura Ascione

“The vast majority of educators and policymakers believe students should develop creative problem-solving skills in school–but the problem, they say, is that not enough schools teach this concept. Ninety-seven percent of educators and 96 percent of policymakers in a global research study from Adobe said creative problem-solving is important for today’s students, and they said they believe students who excel at creative problem-solving will have higher-earning jobs in the future. In fact, creative problem-solving skills are in high demand today for senior-level and higher-paying careers.” (more)

Changing our Paradigm

News Herald – Juliann Talkington

Juliann

Technology is changing so fast, it is impossible to know what the world will be like in a year, much less four or five. Just 25 years ago, the Internet was still in its infancy, mobile phones were just gaining popularity, and genetically modified foods were not yet on the market. Now we are worried about biological computers, electronic currencies, and the health impacts of genetically modified foods.

For decades, education experts encouraged schools to track kids into narrow areas like molecular biology, medieval history, copyright law, or Fortran programming. As technology advanced, the lines between disciplines began to disappear and some areas vanished.

Now a person’s long-term employment prospects are based on his/her ability to quickly learn new things, interact with others, and change. This means everyone needs a strong understanding of all the disciplines including the arts, math, history, science, languages, etc. In addition, employers need people who can communicate, listen, and empathize with others; have a strong work ethic; and possess good character. This means our kids need a completely different type of education than we did when we were growing up.

Here is a list of the skill gaps that exist in our education system and parenting approaches.


1. Ability to think critically and assess and analyze information
The problem often develops in elementary school. Primary school teachers need strong proficiency in this area.
2. Collaborative/Influential
Students need practice working with others. Schools are not structured to provide exposure to different ages.
3. Agile/Adaptable
Schools/parents want stability. Students need exposure to change.
4. Initiative
Students need opportunities to start new programs, etc.
5. Effective Written and Oral Communication
Schools need step by step teaching approaches and effective ways to assess proficiency.
6. Curious, Imaginative, Creative
Schools should foster these abilities with short creative blocks during the teaching day.
7. Ethical
Parents need to demonstrate acceptable behavior.
8. Polished and Courteous
Parents need to teach their children basic life skills – allow others to finish speaking before you begin, chew with your mouth closed, etc.
9. Well-read
Parents should discuss world affairs and technological advances with their kids.
10. Strong work ethic
Parents need to teach their children about self-discipline, punctuality, follow-through, etc. and then allow them to experience consequences when they do not deliver.

Once we realize what worked in the 1900s no longer makes sense today, we can work together to make sure our kids are ready for life on their own.

This is what Gen Z-designed curriculum looks like for the future

E-School News – Darren Faust

“The generation in school now is the first generation raised entirely in the Age of Technology. They are digital natives, many of them using computers, smartphones, and other digital tools nearly from birth. As technology continues to grow and expand, so too will the ways we use it. This growth and expansion will impact the types of jobs that will be available in the next 10–20 years. So how do we as educators prepare Gen Z for jobs that may not even exist yet?.”(more)

Teach ‘problem solving’ to produce engineers, schools urged

BBC – Judith Burns

“A focus on “playful experimentation” could boost learning throughout UK schools, says the Royal Academy of Engineering. It could also instil a passion for engineering and help “overcome our current lack of engineers”, it adds. Ministers say they want the UK to be world beating for science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) subjects. But co-author Prof Bill Lucas, of Winchester University, said schools “must rethink” the way they teach in order to boost engagement in engineering. The report also urges professional engineers to dedicate some of their time to working with pupils and teachers in schools.”(more)

What Preschoolers Need From Adults

Education Week – Kate Stoltzfus

“Christakis, whose career has focused on the well-being of children and their families, published The Importance of Being Little: What Young Children Really Need From Grownups last year. In the book, she argues for a rethinking of the purpose of preschool and proposes several changes to preschool curricula. According to Christakis, chief among early-childhood education’s current problems is that it neglects the role of play in learning. She recommends that preschools devote more time to cultivating children’s imaginations, instead of focusing on test preparation and the recall of numbers and letters. The Importance of Being Little also explains that educators and parents would do well to re-examine their mindsets on the teaching of young children by recognizing their preschoolers’ capacity for problem-solving, deeper learning, and forming relationships.”(more)