Whatever your feelings about this particular app, it serves as a perfect metaphor for the modern world we live in. Technology has always been a sort of bridge between reality and the imaginary, bringing us movies about creatures that don’t exist in places that aren’t there, but the lines are beginning to blur now. I’ve been using GPS for ages, even for places I know how to get to, because it helps me anticipate corners that are approaching.
This December my daughter, Millie, will turn 1 whilst my grandmother will turn 91. The differences between the world my grandmother was born into, and the one my daughter now inhabits, are incredible. Millie’s favourite toys are often electronic (particularly my phone and my car key, which I have found unlocked outside the house!)… my grandmother first saw a television when she was 20.
At St John’s we are preparing children to enter a world (and a workforce) that doesn’t yet exist, solving problems that aren’t problems yet. One of my friends is a “Cloud Storage Manager”- I have no idea what this means. Which other jobs will your children have which you don’t understand?
By focusing on developing children’s interpersonal skills (ensuring that they are communicators, confident, and collaborative) and have initiative (designing and leading their own projects in class, rather than seeing the teacher as “in charge” of everything) then we are doing far more for the future than handing out factual information all day, which is going to be available to them on Google via 4G (or 40G within a few years, I suppose).
This week alone in Year 6, I set each group a challenge to teach the rest of the class something new about our subject, “Symbolism”. One group found out about “Set Theory” and gave a quiz to everyone, another learnt about Zodiac symbols, and got everyone to design their own star signs, whilst another discovered about the history of family crests, where everyone ended up using symbols to represent their family. By placing this type of activity; open-ended and high challenge in nature, children learn to expect more from themselves and gain skills in self-management and perseverance. They also learn to reflect on their own performances in a task and how they could improve next time.
Please do get in touch if you would ever like to come in and see PYP in action in the classroom- I am sure I’ll be able to find a time when you can come and see it happening.