Pamela Bissa , PMP, President of www.brookeeducationservices.com, recently posted the question below on her website, http://www.brookeeducationservices.com/2013/01/21/have-we-communicated-to-our-students-the-requirement-to-learn-21st-century-learning-and-innovation-skills.
“Have we communicated to our students the requirement to learn 21st Century Learning and Innovation Skills? ”
The “Why” is what really strikes a child’s imagination. Since my kids were little, one of the first things young children always ask is “Why?”. There is a natural curiosity there. Once they start school, I have seen fewer and fewer kids ask the “Why?” type questions. Several don’t want to know, an just want the “answer”.
Somewhere along the way in our society, students have lost that thirst for knowledge for learning. Understanding the “Whys” and “Questioning”. Yes, we still have students like that, but it seems to be smaller and smaller as years go by.
Children are being raised in an Instant Gratification Mode. If they want an answer to a math problem or history question, they google it. If they can’t solve something they can go to a multitude of websites where there are answers to even questions in the textbooks, or apps to solve questions, websites will give answers to questions typed, etc.
How do we fix this?
It takes all of us; parents, teachers, educators and society to get our children interested in the “Whys?”. We are teaching them skills today, for jobs that don’t exist in the next 5 or 10 years. As much as we like technology, look at how it is changing our life. My youngest son is a graphic artist who got a job recently at an Information Technology Company to design mobile apps. I looked at one website,and there are not enough people to work in this field because it has grown too fast. Who would have imagine companies thinking about the way they do business 10 years ago with small flip phones and small PDAs? Who would have thought that technology brought down Blockbuster. It survived from Beta to VHS to DVD formats, but along the way got lost with the competition from Redbox, NetFlix, and Cable Companies that can let you order the same movie from your living room. Now movies can be streamed to not just your tv, but your PC,laptop, smart phone, tablet, etc. Who knew this 15 years ago?
Our world will constantly be changing, but for this generation it will be faster.
Teachers our students asking the “Why?” Question is probably the most important 3 letter word question a student can ask? They are curious. They want to know. How does it matter to them? How does it fit into the real world and with their life.
In the classroom, I loved this question. It was a valuable teaching moment. I would stop and explain the why because it related to science, music, maps, geography,math, technology, computer science, different professions. They key is to get children excited about that or another topic. Once they can take ownership of it, they will be able to accept it as their own.