Shifting school learning content

Shifting school learning content | FrogPonds

Welcome to the Frog Blog for this week. Following on from my introduction ‘What is the Purpose of Education’, I am going to continue with this theme. So, how can educators help to ‘shift school learning content’ towards the needs of the future, by focussing on; innovation and creativity skills’?

This requires a focus on skills required for innovation, including complex problem-solving, analytical thinking, creativity and systems analysis.

The key drivers of growth in the Fourth Industrial Revolution are innovation, flexibility and adaption. Children need to develop these skills to generate new ideas and turn them into viable solutions, products and systems.

One way to achieve this is through playful learning, both in formal and informal learning experiences. Countries like Finland, New Zealand and Estonia are leading the way in early childhood education. Learning by experimenting, learning by doing and learning by growing from within.

Another way, has been demonstrated by The Knowledge Society (TKS), founded in 2016 in Toronto, Canada. Visit their website and you will be inspired!

TKS is a three-year co-curricular programme for students aged 13-18 years that focuses on building technology and entrepreneurial skills.

What makes this model unique? TKS was designed to mirror the learning and working environments of major technology companies, exposing learners to the most cutting-edge innovations such as blockchain, robotics and artificial intelligence, to help them to understand how to use these tools to drive positive change in the world.


TKS partners with such companies as Walmart, Airbnb and TD Bank to expose students to real-world challenges. TKS students use the McKinsey & Company consulting framework to work through these challenges and present their findings to organisations.

TKS developed its own on-line platform to provide student resources to support their projects and to connect with each other.

TKS partners with a major innovator company in each city, where it operates, such as Zappos in Las Vegas and Microsoft in New York.

Measures of success include students having designed their own company, many of which have been converted to real companies. Examples include G-Nome; machine learning to improve vaccines and partnering with the Sinai Health System. Students have also been invited to be guest speakers at some of the largest technology conferences 

I think you get the idea. We say that it takes ‘a village to raise a child’. It maybe more apt to say, it takes ‘a global village to educate a child’ in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Maria Coate

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