Conscious Parenting and Future of Education

‘You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.’

Kahlil Gibran, On Children

Educating Leaders

We can not aim to prepare our children for the careers of the future. We live in such a dynamic world that what was a norm 10 years ago, almost certainly will not be our reality in 10 years. The education of the future is much more challenging, shifting further away from ‘spelling and formulas’ towards the development of cognitive thinking where children are given tools to develop their-own world, when their time comes.

Education and Future Trends

Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, to name just a few, all started as small companies with a few people with an idea, a talent, and motivation to innovate. So, to educate leaders and innovators of the future, we need an education system that nurtures the love for learning and promotes creativity and innovation.

Lessons from Finland

Finland is this century's icon of educational reform success, with its students repeatedly winning all the top results in international rankings. Some four decades after Finland overhauled its educational system, many countries try to learn from its example.

So, what are the lessons that we could learn from the Finish educational model?

1. Finnish have only public schools, the country has closed all the private ones. Before the reform, Finland had large learning differences between schools, with urban students typically outperforming their low income peers. Today, students do well regardless of their socio-economic status.

2. The Finnish vision is that every child has some talents and those who struggle in certain subjects are given an assistant to help them in their progress. No one is left behind.

3. Within their educational reform, the Finns have at first, eliminated the practice of separating students into different tracks based on their test scores, and then they eliminated the examinations altogether. Finnish children never take a standardized test. Tests are not used to compare pupils or teachers or schools to each other.

4. Children in Finland start Primary School at age seven. The idea is that before that time they learn best through play, and by the time they get to the school environment they are keen to start learning.

5. Teaching is a prestigious career in Finland and teachers are highly valued. All teachers are required to have higher academic degrees and this guarantees the high quality of teaching.

6. The highly trained teachers have autonomy to make decisions about what and how to teach, they participate in the design of the curriculum of their class, supported by the very lean national standards (featuring fewer than 10 pages of guidance for all of mathematics, for example). The Finns also made sure that competent teachers who can shape the best learning conditions for their students are in all the schools.

7. Teachers keep the same pupils in their classroom for several years. This helps the trust develop between the teacher and the students.

8. Children study in a relaxed and informal atmosphere and teachers use methods that encourage ‘thinking’, experimenting, project work, and collaboration. In a typical classroom, students will not be sitting down listening to the teacher, they would be working with other students in small groups, completing projects or writing articles for their own magazine. The teacher nurture independence and active learning, allowing students to develop skills to understand and solve problems.

9. Finnish schools are generally small with relatively small classrooms (around 20s). All students receive a free meal daily, free health care, transport, and learning materials. They also have plenty of holidays - compared to the Europeans, Finnish children spend the fewest number of hours in the classroom.

The success of the Finish model is not within a competition based environment that is highly relying upon exams, but it is built on the idea that less can be more. There is a strong emphasis on relaxed schools that nurture creativity, questioning, and in-depth subject analysis. Arts, music and sports are integral part of every child’s curriculum.

Alternative Schooling and Finish Model

It is interesting that some of the alternative schools’ founders of the last century (Steiner and Montessori) have worked on the exact same principles when shaping their schools of the future. Their knowledge of human nature and children development patterns have influenced the pioneers of educational shift that is happening during the last few decades.

Sir Ken Robinson, an internationally recognized expert in human creativity, talking about educational reform within the video "Changing Education Paradigms," invites the educational bodies to re-think their policies that advocate competition as the key driver of educational improvement. Indeed, the Finnish experience shows that focus on creativity and cooperation can lead to an education system where all children learn well.

To view Conscious Parenting Articles, please go to: http://www.artof4elements.com/page/our-children

Author's Bio: 

Nuit is an Author of 9 mindfulness books within the Series called Alchemy of Love Mindfulness Training:
1. Conscious Parenting: Mindful Living Course for Parents,
2. Mindful Being towards Mindful Living,
3. Mindful Eating with Delicious Vegan Recipes,
4. A Guide to Mindful Eating with 45 Veggie Recipes
5. Chanting Mantras with Best Chords
6. Art of 4 Elements spiritual poetry book and
7. A-Ma Alchemy of Love novel.
8. Tree of Life: Spiritual Poetry Book
9. Conscious Creativity: Mindfulness Meditations

In March 2014, Artof4Elements developed and launched the Alchemy of Love Mindfulness Training Series of 9 fiction and non-fiction books with 7 Authors focusing on spiritual growth, creativity and mindfulness. A series of many genres, including poetry, personal development, historical fiction, the world of ''Alchemy of Love Mindfulness Training'' explores mindfulness, alchemy, and reaching ones highest potential.