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How We Prepare Students For An Ever-Changing World

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

—Albert Einstein

I think most people will agree that our world is changing faster than ever—new technologies shed light on new information and offer solutions to problems that we could not have imagined just a decade ago. So in many ways, we are not using the same thinking or skills to tackle the obstacles we face. Given this rate of change, how are we to prepare our students for a future that is so dynamic?

Design Lab teacher, Paul Zmuda, teaches a unit on Lego Robotics; students gain skills in coding.

The book Four-Dimensional Education (2015, by Charles Fadel, Bernie Trilling, and Maya Bialik) describes the competencies learners will need in order to find success: knowledge, skills, character and meta-learning (the ability to think about one’s thinking). The authors describe how education needs to evolve in order to keep pace with global trends and challenges. Students will need to know how to access reliable information, apply it to complex problems facing their communities, and be able to judge if their efforts are effective or in need of refinement. Providing this education to prepare our students is no small task for us as parents and educators!

In the Makerspace, students learn methods for problem-solving—especially the importance of making mistakes and trying again.

Fortunately for us and our students, the Montessori classrooms are designed to meet many aspects of the four dimensions outlined in this book. Our students actively engage with materials to build their knowledge and skill base. They create work plans to manage their time, which requires self-awareness and meta-learning. Students learn to handle conflict and resolve differences one-on-one from the time they first use the peace rose, and as a group when creating a classroom charter or working together on research projects. This timeless, constructivist approach, combined with opportunities to engage with current technology and problem solving skills, creates the solid foundation from which our students can soar!

Above, students work together on a group project: they are preparing to teach younger students a traditional Montessori lesson called the Clock of Eons.

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