Technology is progressing at lightning speed, shaping our personal and professional lives faster than we care to imagine in the globalised economy.
New technologies are already entering the workplace, with some rapidly shifting the way we work. The sting of technological disruption can already be felt in some aspects of customer service in fast food chains via self-ordering kiosks, while the taxi industry has been affected by the competition posed by ride-sharing services, and has also discombobulated old-school business owners.
On an individual level, preparing current generations to adapt to a future heavily influenced by new technologies means arming them with the knowledge and skills needed to keep up with these changes. Today’s children are set to work in jobs that haven’t yet been invented, which means schools will need to shift how they teach to prepare students to compete in a globally connected world.
Practical, hands-on learning is just one way schools can nurture soft skills such as creativity, problem-solving and critical thinking among students. These are prized assets that would help them thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and enable students to transition into university, and later, the globalised economy, seamlessly.
Parents who are looking for schools that are preparing students for the future of work may want to start looking East. Asia is home to many international schools that are paving the way for students’ future success, including these five schools:
This school provides students aged 3 to 18 with a holistic English and international curriculum using a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) approach, done via a collaboration with the world renowned MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). There’s also the IB Diploma programme for students in Years 12 and 13.
Through STEAM’s interdisciplinary subjects, students consider a wider range of perspectives when solving a particular problem, flexing their critical thinking, creativity and communication skills in the process, which are essential in helping them succeed in the 21st century.
NAIS Hong Kong’s individualised approach to learning instills a love of learning among students, while specialist teachers enable students to become confident, well-rounded learners. Students are encouraged to be ambitious and step out of their comfort zones, supported by their teachers both academically and personally.
The schools’ unique offerings also include a collaboration with The Juilliard School for the performing arts education, where learning is enhanced through a repertoire of core music, dance and drama works encompassing a wide range of genres, styles and cultures designed and hand-selected by Juilliard. Meanwhile, its Global Campus helps students explore the world and learn new skills, helping them develop an international perspective through outstanding online, in-school and global experiences.
The past decade has shown that education’s ability to accurately predict the needs for the future workplace has become less and less. Many jobs are being automated and computerised. ISHCMC is one of the few schools within Asia with a genuine forward-facing vision of education. ISHCMC has refurbished and built new learning spaces that align with the need to disrupt an education system that was designed for the Second Industrial Revolution in the 19th century.
ISHCMC follows three International Baccalaureate programmes (PYP, MYP, and DP) while focusing on progressive approaches for facilitating learning and teaching. This delivery is built around the key pillars of the school’s mission to ‘energise, engage and empower’ its students through learning. Visionary facilities allow students to deeply investigate STEAM in innovative ways. Student learning is personalised, allowing for individual pathways at the same time encouraging collaboration to solve real-world problems.
Developing students who are equipped as lifelong learners match the requirements of leading universities and companies worldwide, enabling ISHCMC students to gain acceptance at 26 of the 50 top-ranking universities in 2019.
ISHCMC prepares students to flourish and thrive in our quickly changing world. The school empowers them with skills to tackle the social and emotional challenges that they will face. ISHCMC deliberately focuses on a ‘Culture of Care’, a daily practice of mindfulness and building student understanding of resilience, positive emotions, and character strengths.
Established in 1957, Bangkok Patana is the oldest British international school in Thailand, offering curricula for students from Nursery to Year 13. The school prides itself on providing a wide range of learning experiences for students to explore and inquire, while its curriculum encourages diversity and accommodates 21st-century learners.
Subtle nuances in teaching prepare students to thrive in the globalised economy. For instance, in an age where information can be Googled instantaneously, students are trained to persevere when discovering the answers to questions via scientific experiments. They engage in deeper levels of thinking by actively seeking the answers to their questions and finding things out for themselves. This is reflected in how their labs are designed, enabling students to access equipment with ease, as well as collaborate and share ideas with other students.
As a result, students don’t just build their science skills, but develop soft skills by demonstrating creativity in conducting their own research and taking ownership of their learning – some of the crucial skills needed to succeed in the future of work. Students are also taught by teachers who are passionate about what they teach while learning is also interactive as students can write on windows and whiteboards, making it more visible, hands-on, and helping them to work through each challenge and demonstrate their understanding.
Accredited as ‘Outstanding’ by PENTA (January 2019), Jerudong International School seizes the challenges of a rapidly changing world. Supported by the academic and enrichment curriculum, JIS ensures children develop the skills, values and attitudes required to become leaders in a global economy.
JIS recognises that it’s not enough to prepare students with the physical skills for today’s technology. Many students will later be employed for jobs that are not in existence today, so JIS focuses on giving students a broad set of skills so they can enter a fast-changing world with confidence.
Principal, Nicholas Sheehan, said it’s important that students have the capacity to make wise decisions with regard to digital technology with other key focus areas around digital citizenship and internet safety. Through the Philosophy for Children (P4C) and the IB Theory of Knowledge Courses, students are equipped with higher order critical thinking skills, allowing them to transfer across employment sectors and be globally mobile.
JIS ensures student are well-equipped, not just by achieving excellence in internationally recognised exams but in having the inner-strength and confidence to face the challenges the future presents.
SAS isn’t a school that churns out cookie-cutter students who fit a particular mould. Instead, students are given a platform to polish their skills and build their knowledge through the school’s personalised learnings and passion pathways, producing globally-minded students with widened perspectives.
Located in Singapore, one of the world’s largest financial hubs, SAS has a whopping 60 years of experience in providing students with an exemplary American educational experience. The curriculum spans pre-school to high school level, where students study alongside peers from diverse cultural backgrounds.
SAS acts as a springboard for student success; its unique programmes allow students to experience things they normally wouldn’t in schools with a standard curriculum. These include offerings such as an advanced book publishing class and lessons on digital citizenship, among others, which can help them stand out in the global economy.
Stellar programmes aside, students also benefit by learning from a highly experienced faculty, ensuring they enjoy a well-rounded education. The school also values competitive sports, offering a variety of sports and playing levels to cater to students’ varied interests.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International