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The exponential technological growth and rapid advancement or reshaping of both workforce and workspace are inevitable. The threat of most of today’s jobs being done by robots in the future is looming large. However, this also means new types of jobs will emerge, and Future Ready as Versatile Life-long learners and Mindful Problem-Solvers is the most appropriate way forward.

Hence, educational institutions, especially schools, must help students have a holistic overall growth with a Heutagogical mindset. Along with learning numbers and facts, students will have to be encouraged to develop the 4C’s of the 21st Century Work-Life Skills, i.e., Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration and Creativity, with a scientific and entrepreneurial attitude.

Experiential Learning with a Hands-on Methodology

The best way schools can help students become future-proof or future-ready is by helping students think about their thinking by indulging in Experiential learning with a hands-on methodology and sharpening their Metacognitive Skills. The proven methodology to implement Experiential learning is through integrated S.T.E.A.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) programmes. STEAM promotes growth and change in mental processes related to thinking, reasoning, memory and other areas of brain development acquired from a consolidation of knowledge gained through experiences. The experiential nature of learning and constructing knowledge is the core concept of constructivism and integrated STEAM education.

Reconstructing Knowledge

Characteristics common between the constructivist theory of cognitive development and Experiential learning through the integrated STEAM process include the secondary facilitative role of teachers. This together with the active role of students. This collaboration is useful in reconstructing knowledge.  Facilitators focus on the process of learning rather than the results.

The potential gap between theory and practice can be identified and addressed, allowing learners to experience learning theory practically. Experiential learning through a hands-on methodology, also known as the kinaesthetic approach, allows the learner to critically think and learn through trial and error without the fear of failure, igniting their minds to bloom creatively. An environment where a learner can touch, feel, and learn by doing rather than just rote-learning promotes invention literacy by making things and relate it to the real world and their textbook topics and experience it.  The various prototypes a learner develops in a STEAM space or lab help understand its applications and concepts relevant to the real world.

Enthusiastic Teacher Holding Tablet Computer Explains Lesson to Brilliant Young Children. Photo: Adobe Stock

Collaborate in Small Groups to Solve Real-world Problems

A good STEAM class must allow students to collaborate in small groups to solve real-world problems through hands-on inquiry and open-ended exploration, connecting various subjects through a design-thinking process. In this process of solving real problems in teams, students are given total freedom to flounder practically through numerous failed attempts and approaches until they explore the right option. This methodology leads to the acquisition of new knowledge through organizing and assimilation.

Many studies have shown that hands-on experiential learning helps learners perform better in academics and face real-life challenges. STEAM Experiential learning, with its flexibility, help learners have the ability to choose their learning trajectories and programmes, thereby choose their own paths in life according to their talents and interests.

The attitude and skill to consistently applying past knowledge and experience to new situations are what the future will demand. The future belongs to the Heutagogical and Versatile.

Lucubrate Magazine May 2021

Photo on top of the Article: Adobe Stock

This article is one in the series about trends for future education:

  • E-learning or online learning
  • Nano-learning
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Remote learning
  • Ground-breaking virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology
  • Mobile-first learning system
  • Gamification
  • High-Speed Learning
  • Hyper-personalised and Adaptive Learning
  • Project-based learning
  • Experiential learning
  • Innovative learning
  • On-Demand Learning
  • Skills-oriented learning methods
  • Learning by Improving Skills
Jobs with blurred city abstract lights background (Photp: Adobe Stock)

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George Panicker
George Panicker

George Panicker is an Entrepreneur, Author, Independent Documentary Film producer and a passionate Educationist. He is the Founder of International STEAM Research Pvt. Ltd.

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