Naveen Jain at The Huffington Post argues that in today’s fast-paced world run by technology, students’ knowledge of content is not as important as their ability and motivation to learn. He says:
Half of the skills we're teaching our children right now will be obsolete within their lifetimes. The trouble is we have no idea which half. In a world of exponential advances in science and technology we can't predict what skills they'll need. The best we can do is to teach them to be better learners so they can leap from one technological wave to the next.
According to Jain, researchers discovered that “our brain is not static but plastic” and changes throughout our lifetimes. This means that a student’s attention, focus, memory, processing speed, and other cognitive abilities can improve with practice and training.
Our children already inhabit a world where new game platforms and killer apps appear and are surpassed in dizzying profusion and speed. They are already adapting to the dynamics of the 21st century. But we can help them adapt more methodically and systematically by focusing our attention on improving their capacity to learn throughout their lives.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.