The employment market is a fluid environment, constantly shifting and changing its ideas and priorities. Therefore, the job market that future graduates will enter is very different from the one faced by the generations before them. As the wants and needs of employers and markets change, it is essential that education also moves to reflect this. Whilst it is still important that we focus on maintaining high academic standards, students today are using their time in education to gain experience and knowledge beyond their books.
How a Holistic Approach to Education in Schools is Preparing Students for Working in The Modern World
As the world becomes more and more automated, increasing value is added to people who are creative independent thinkers. Forward-thinking educators are nurturing these characteristics in their students by changing the way they approach learning. Doing away with the learning by rote and encouraging the students to step away from their desk and explore, research, experiment and think through problems in new ways. This style of teaching is creating students that will try something new and think beyond the perceived wisdom. It also encourages students to have agency in how they learn which further encourages independence and enhances motivation and confidence in students as learners.
The curricula at many schools are also changing to reflect this thinking. Modern holistic curricula value academics, as well as subjects such as creative arts and sports. Realising that students today may excel in different areas and should be given exposure to a variety of subjects to help them build confidence and find their passion. For example, in employment focussed courses, students are achieving the grades that they will need to support their applications to higher education whilst giving them practical skills and experience. The United Kingdom’s BTEC (Business and Technology Education Council) courses have been designed by leaders in their respective industries and therefore may better prepare them for their field of work and increase their appeal to future employers. Offering these courses also helps to individualise a student’s educational pathway. Students are all unique and access learning in different ways. These innovative courses tend to be less exam centric, leaning more on coursework and hands-on experience. The best educational institutions recognise that embracing this diversity and offering students different styles of courses will allow more students to realise their full potential.
Extensive extra-curricular activities give students access to a wide range of hobbies and interests from chess to rollerblading, swimming to soap making, as well as encouraging them to participate in community service projects. Volunteering is a great way for young people to broaden their horizons while giving back to the community. There are so many options available here in Thailand that allow students to contribute while gaining skills that will ultimately better prepare them for university and beyond. And of course, there is also nothing like getting stuck in and trying something, to show students what they truly enjoy and what they do not, helping them to make more informed choices on areas to study and ultimately work.
Employers today place great importance upon skill sets such as the ability to work as part of a team and be an effective communicator. These soft skills help to set students apart from their peers when entering the labour market. The sooner students begin to cultivate these skills, the better. Opportunities such as school councils, collaborative projects and team sports are all great ways for students to begin developing these skills from a young age. Whilst playing team sports students learn to work together towards a common goal. This requires communication skills, self-discipline, and the ability to motivate themselves and others. Team sports and collaborative projects also give young people the opportunity to practice their leadership skills in a safe and supportive environment. All these traits ultimately make them better able to contribute when they join the world of work.
School today is about so much more than just learning to read and write, it is a time for students to develop their whole self and become more well-rounded individuals. These individuals are better equipped for the modern university selection process and more attuned to the needs of their employers of the future.
To find out more about Bangkok Prep International school’s mission statement for beyond books click HERE