Helping students develop key life and social skills beyond academic competencies will better prepare them for life beyond the education system, and pisa will measure this.

Is the education system working?


Helping students develop key life and social skills beyond academic competencies will better prepare them for life beyond school

The very essence of THINK Global School’s programme aims to immerse students in social and emotional skills: perseverance, empathy, mindfulness, courage, and leadership are all central to this platform for learning.

During my time at TGS, my ‘class’ lived in four different countries each year, making unforgettable connections between our education and the world around us. My time in Costa Rica, Botswana, India, Japan, Spain, Greece, China, and Oman gave me a unique and broader perspective on life and learning. Taking Japan as one example, that module was on the history of Hiroshima and the country’s aquaculture and sustainability today. 

As students, we work with relative autonomy as well as with our peers. To a certain extent, we are in charge of our own learning through a combination of real-world exploration, skills, mastery, and project-based learning. My exposure to learning experiences outside the restrictions of a classroom has made me mature a lot faster, which in turn has been pivotal in the way I communicate and engage with people and think things through.

Broadening horizons

While the life-long benefits are hard to quantify, the people you meet and the different cultures broaden all your learning experiences. Instead of a state-defined education system, we had the opportunity at TGS to delve into project-based learning in real-life environments, which encouraged everyone to apply their skills effectively and become adults very quickly.

At first glance, THINK Global School may sound out of reach for some families, but due to its sliding-scale tuition, it is an opportunity available to every student in the world who aspires to create change. It has certainly given me a lot of depth as a member of society.

While I have a way to go before becoming the next Einstein or Piaget, this learning experience has given me the platform I needed to break away from any constraints and has injected motivation and happiness in my life. I’ve not only learned key academic skills, but I’ve also developed an inspiration to do more with my life.

Conclusion

Considering the OECD’s recent move to measure its competences beyond the core literacies of reading, mathematics, and science, I hope we are seeing a societal move towards broadening our education system. Helping students develop key life and social skills including autonomy, cultural awareness, and independence goes beyond academic skills and better prepares them for life beyond school. The development of these skills is important not only for the wellbeing of individuals, but also for wider communities and society. I hope that more governments start to re-evaluate their education system and allow students to broaden their learning experiences.

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