When a quick tap on our smart phone will tell us just about anything we need to know, schools need to do much more than funnel information into students’ minds. Our world is rapidly changing. Economic and technological changes shape the occupational outlook of today’s students. It is no longer enough for them to know basic facts and skills.
Did you know that 85 percent of the jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t been invented yet?
We cannot predict the knowledge that will be essential for our students in another ten years. What we do know is that the capacity to solve problems and think analytically will continue to grow in importance.
At Illawarra Christian School, we are preparing our students for a future when they will be required to master decision-making and collaborative problem-solving. Albert Einstein had it right: “Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.” Some things have not changed.
In every stage at Illawarra Christian School, we assist our students to develop their capacity to reason, to make judgements, to understand, to make decisions. Nowhere is this more important than in our senior secondary school as we prepare our students for the world beyond the HSC.
It is our task to grow truth seekers—thinking, questioning students.
It is only when we understand what our students are thinking that we can use that knowledge to further engage and support them in the process of understanding. The very best learning occurs when students are thinking.
Take a look around our classrooms, staffrooms and playgrounds, and you will see that thinking is valued, visible and actively promoted from Prep to Year 12 at Illawarra Christian School.
Group and individual activities are nurturing thinking habits.
Whiteboards are showing evidence of student thinking.
Classroom walls are highlighting different thinking processes.
Discussions are encouraging students to question concepts and to build on each other’s ideas.
Thinking routines are taking students’ cognitive processes to a higher level.
Teachers are engaging in professional dialogue that shapes their pedagogical thinking.
A culture of thinking is essential to our learning framework. Cultivating a thinking disposition means growing a student’s curiosity, concern for truth and understanding. Do you ask your children: “What did you learn about today?” Try, instead, asking them: “What did you wonder about today?”