Parents should focus on helping children develop 21st Century Skills that they’ll need in the future rather than focusing on grades and private tuitions. As the production advisor at NutSpace, a company that focuses on Building 21st Century Skills in children, I found articles that establish the importance of 21st Century Skills.
In a recent study conducted by NCERT, private tuitions have a low impact on overall performance. In certain sections of the society they even have a negative impact. Children of illiterate parents, for example, actually find their marks dropping a bit when they go for private tuitions. According to the study, children who play games and engage with other children everyday score better in Mathematics. Children with access to more books at home had better reading ability and scored better in science and social science. [ read article ]
In his article, Creating Innovators, Tony Wagner (@DrTonyWagner), Expert In Residence at Harvard University’s new Innovation Lab, states that sending children to the “right” schools and ensuring that they get good grades no longer guarantees success. More than a third of all recent college graduates are living at home today – either unemployed or underemployed. Innovation is the skill in greatest demand in the workplace today and is the one least likely to be outsourced or automated.
A child won’t become Innovative by getting better grades in school but by developing 21st Century Skills.
Listed below are 3 reasons why parents should focus on developing 21st Century Skills in children.
- Inventive Thinkers: It is important to be curious and creative. Often private tuitions kill the curiosity by making children learn through rote method or by giving “helpful” notes and guides that can help children score better grades. Curiosity and imagination, a 21st Century Skill, help children to question and learn. This makes the learning experience fun and permanent. This also results in children becoming leaders who take initiatives or become entrepreneurs.
- Makes a Child Future Ready: With frequent technology changes and creation of new job profiles, it becomes difficult for people to adopt to new innovations at a workplace. Agility and adaptability, another 21st Century skill helps children adapt to new situations. No matter what the situation, an Inventive Thinker can access, analyze and adapt to any situation.
- Collaboration & Team Work: In a private tuition space, the focus is on individuals and on a single motive – “better grades”. Everyone is competing with each other. This is quite opposite to what is required in the 21st Century. Collaboration across Networks & leading by Influence can help reduce financial and work burden, build better strategies at work, learn better from each other and focus on honing one own skills even further.
Tony Wagner has listed 7 skills that students will always need: Critical Thinking & Problem Solving, Collaboration across Networks & Leading by Influence, Agility and Adaptability, Effective Oral & Written Communication, Initiative & Entrepreneurship, Accessing & Analyzing Information, Curiosity & Imagination. Read more about the 7 skills.
Not every child will grow up to be a billionaire but can learn the art of doing everything skillfully and innovatively. The world needs collaborators, innovators, and thinkers. The ball is in the court of parents and educators – a right move now can make all the difference.
Rohini Vij (@rohinivij) is the Chief Creative Officer at NutSpace, a company that helps develop 21st Century Skills in children. She is a master storyteller who uses stories to teach children. She has conducted workshops in schools and colleges across the country including IIT-Kanpur. She brings with her experience from diverse fields including Marketing, Corporate Communication, Publishing, Public Relations, Films, Radio and Education.