We have seen enormous advances in technology, industry, and science during the last century, and that pace of change is not expected to slow down anytime soon. The World Economic Forum predicts that 65% of today’s children will have careers that don’t even exist right now. How can parents help prepare their children to be successful in their future work when they don’t know what types of jobs their children might hold? There are several key ways to guide children to a place of strength and resilience, no matter what the future brings.
Help students understand how they learn.
Like a skeleton key, this simple piece of advice unlocks countless doors for children. When students understand how their brain works, they have the ability to improve and change the way they take in and synthesize information. For instance, when students review their class notes a day or two after writing them, that action stimulates new growth of neural networks in the brain, which makes the information in those class notes easier to remember later. This is just one example of how students can improve their ability to learn and retain information if they know more about brain function. We encourage you to read this three-page article (written by a neurologist who specializes in how people learn) for more information on this concept.
Emphasize collaboration and tolerance.
We may not have a crystal ball that shows a detailed image of the future, but we do know that workers of the future will interact with people from many cultures and backgrounds—and that jobs will require the ability to find common ground with colleagues in order to achieve shared goals. Today’s students will be successful in their future work if they are able to collaborate with others to figure out creative solutions to new problems, including problems we haven’t yet imagined. In order to do that, today’s students need to learn how to have open and comfortable discussions with people who have different belief systems and cultural traditions. Collaboration and tolerance must be emphasized as essential business skills for children who want to thrive in their future careers.
Learn how to assess the accuracy of new information.
One thing is certain about the future: today’s children will face streams of new information that increase exponentially over time. In addition, facts that seem important to memorize today may no longer be relevant in the future. Therefore, one of the most important skills that today’s students can learn is how to evaluate the reliability of new information. This skill requires students to have strong critical thinking skills, the ability to research the credibility of information sources, and the insight to understand their own individual potential for risks such as confirmation bias. Today’s students may be faced with a constant deluge of new information, but they will be able to identify valid details if they are equipped with strong evaluation skills.
Students in online schools have enhanced access to building mastery in all three of these abilities. Laurel Springs School’s emphasis on learning style awareness helps students understand and feel ownership of how they learn. Our students and teachers live all over the world, enabling children to experience a global virtual classroom environment. In addition, the digital basis for many of Laurel Springs’ courses necessitates the regular practice of evaluating information for accuracy and objectivity. Parents want to do their best to help prepare their children for rewarding lives as adults, and these skills can provide additional advantages that will improve any future career.