If we want to improve children’s opportunities for success, one of the most powerful potential levers for change is not the children themselves, but rather the attitudes, beliefs and behaviors of the adults who surround them.
Part of the mission involves putting £4m into a new “Lego professorship” at Cambridge University – the first incumbent will be chosen in April – and supporting an accompanying Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development and Learning (Pedal). There are more links with Harvard, MIT and other prestigious institutions. The aim is to provide an incontrovertible academic underpinning to the educational value of play, and to define more clearly what works and how to measure it, arming Lego with more evidence to support its campaigning.
We’ve entered the age of empathy. The world is changing faster than ever before. To keep up-- and to succeed-- we need to change, too. We need to master empathy. Read this article by management expert and professor at Columbia Business School, Rita McGrath, to learn about this new economic era and how to succeed in the 21st century workplace: http://hbr.org/2014/07/managements-three-eras-a-brief-history/. This is such a different world from generations past. Change is constant. Problems are global. Information is at our fingertips. In the era of Wikipedia, does it really matter how much you can memorize? What’s more important is that you can take the perspective of others – whether you’re designing a new technology, or negotiating, or anticipating the uncertain. Indeed, how well we do -- whether in the classroom or the boardroom -- depends more than ever on how well we forge and navigate relationships. In this way, empathy is the new literacy: essential for us to communicate, collaborate, and lead. This is why Ashoka's Changemaker schools teach empathy and other non-academic competencies that will prepare children to succeed in this new world. For more information on the amazing work that these schools are doing visit our website: https://startempathy.org/schools.
‘We know that only the technical means of artistic achievement can be taught, not art itself. The function of art has in the past been given a formal importance which has severed it from our daily life; but art is always present when a people lives sincerely and healthily.
‘Our job is therefore to invent a new system of education that may lead — by way of a new kind of specialized teaching of science and technology — to a complete knowledge of human needs and a universal awareness of them.
‘Thus our task is to make a new kind of artist, a creator capable of understanding every kind of need: not because he is a prodigy, but because he knows how to approach human needs according to a precise method. We wish to make him conscious of his creative power, not scared of new facts, and independent of formulas in his own work.’
While employers, psychologists and other researchers have repeatedly noted that social and emotional skills like empathy are some of the most important ones for success, many schools still lag in developing effective programs to nurture those soft skills.
It's no secret that President Obama is an avid reader. But, he just got even more cred with book-lovers by praising everybody's favorite children's author: yep, Obama loves Dr. Seuss. In a Q&A session with interns, Obama admitted that "pretty much all the stuff you need to know is in Dr. Seuss."
What will change in 2016 is that all basic schools for 7- to 16-year-olds must have at least one extended period of multi-disciplinary, phenomenon-based teaching and learning in their curricula. The length of this period is to be decided by schools themselves. Helsinki, the nation’s capital and largest local school system, has decided to require two such yearly periods that must include all subjects and all students in every school in town.
Ilana Ben-Ari's insight:
"What will change in 2016 is that all basic schools for 7- to 16-year-olds must have at least one extended period of multi-disciplinary, phenomenon-based teaching and learning in their curricula. The length of this period is to be decided by schools themselves. Helsinki, the nation’s capital and largest local school system, has decided to require two such yearly periods that must include all subjects and all students in every school in town."
This summer, Cambridge University announced a search for a “LEGO Professor of Play, Education, and Learning.” With the support of £4 million ($6.1 million) from the LEGO Foundation, the new professor would lead an entire research department dedicated to examining play. This is an endeavor that Robert Rasmussen knows all about. In the late ‘90s,...
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