Curriculum change in the 21st century

Education thoughts by director and senior professional trainer: Anthony Eric

Written: 15 November 2018, Hong Kong.

I see the same phenomena day in and day out; education institutions that apply the same course material for a majority of the students, and because these institutions primarily care about excess profits, they don’t want to pay for top notch teachers that can give students an edge over competition. It is a factory model that worked in the past, especially before the era of the Internet, when access to knowledge and information was hard. In the old days, people received top pay checks, depending on where they obtained their skills and education and what they knew, and it was easier to get a job in the first place. But with today’s Internet, were information, forums, and online courses enable people to grow in knowledge anytime, anywhere, it is not enough to offer a “one fit for all” solution because students do not stand-out on the global job market in this way. I read a report recently by Marc Prensky and he implies that 21st century institutions need to change their curriculum radically, and I agree completely.

It is not enough to train people creativity, problem solving, communication skills and collaboration skills, although, these are vital elements for corporate success. I can admit that when companies hire, they often look for specific skills for a very specific job role; it is not enough to be a strong Java coder anymore. You should have experience of certain niche markets, certain platforms and tools, and you should be able to work effectively with people from all over the world and your mindset must shine flexibility and productivity. Avoid giving all students same material, same teaching style, and same tools, especially when students learn in different ways, and want to study in different ways, and at various paces.

Avoid the production line approach, if seeking to give students a brighter future in a challenging and competitive 21st century. Learning centers and schools that seek competitive advantage and that want to develop students who succeed in life and in their career must therefore change their way of planning and executing courses in my view. Give students tailored material, and use English as a door opener to discover and expand their topics of interest. English should just be a bridge of getting from A-Z, and instead, leading to creating wealth (if this is what the course attendees seek), happiness, business success and a more sustainable way of living. This should be reflected in teachers’ classroom activities and homework assignments.

“Tailorism” is here to stay and imagine following classroom scenario: with 10 students in one class, teachers often find that students interests, level of knowledge, background and future ambition are very different. What teachers can do is to give each student individual and tailored exercises that reflect a students’ ambition, interest, and personal goal, but teachers need to know the students very well beforehand. And with today’s “factory approach” of delivering English (especially in emerging markets), it would be hard for teachers to keep up with all students. Technology can satisfy students’ needs to some extent, by enabling personalized tasks that can be monitored online by teachers. And because 10 students in a classroom implies less teacher time per student, 1-to-1 private training is an excellent combination with daytime classroom learning. It costs more per hour, but you learn faster and you save time by learning just what you need to succeed, and you get ahead of competition! Think about this: what suit meets your preferences perfectly? Is it the production line model (S, M, L, XL) aimed at thousands of clients, or is it the handmade and tailored suit according to your specific length, body size, color taste, and fashion requirements? The latter is 1-to-1 learning.

Welcome to book an interview with me for more information and to get  advice of how to grow your education institute with satisfied stakeholders (students, parents, shareholders, teachers, managers). And welcome to contact me for a free demo class, 1-to-1.

 

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About
Anthony Eric brings a wealth of knowledge in international business and he has gained 14 years experiences of how to communicate effectively, how to plan and evaluate operations for low risk and faster decision making. Anthony has been trained by international institutes in the USA, the UK, Ireland and Sweden and he provides business training and communication training for clients in business, and for clients who aim at succeeding in business. His expertise covers leadership, management communication, business planning and sales management. He currently holds an MBA (England) and BSc Engineering (Sweden) and he has gained 21st century skills and knowledge at global leading institutions such as: The British government, Deloitte, IBM, TietoEnator, Ericsson, Consulting firm Semcon, The Open University, King’s College London, Manchester Business School, The University of Birmingham, Royal Institute of Technology KTH and Harvard University in alliance with IBM Leadership Academy. Anthony is the author of the e-book project management success, available on amazon.com.

Copyright (C) 2018. Anthony Eric by Antonios Papadimitriou. All Rights Reserved.

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