With our world changing exponentially before us, we must ask: What do children need to learn today in order to succeed in the future? As a point of departure, what kind of thinking is necessary for the free, individual, responsible human beings of the future? It is no longer about what the children are learning; it’s about learning how to learn. Most experts agree that we need future leaders who can learn within, and adapt to, ever-changing environments. How is creativity cultivated in educational systems? Many, like Michael Lai and Sir. Ken Robinson (author and educator), add critical and creative thinking skills to this list. Robinson defines creativity as “the process of having original ideas that have value.” As Robinson says in his popular Ted Talk, Do Schools Kill Creativity?, “Intelligence is diverse, dynamic and distinct. We have to educate the whole being so that they can face a future we cannot see.” We are born with inherent creative capacities that are being educated out of the children and young adults.

So how will schools teach children these 21st-century skills?

We know that there are some key problems with our current education system. It is in need of an overhaul to address the expanding and changing needs of a post-industrial, science-minded society. Change in systems, however, happens slowly. Can the government run education system any longer benefit the future of humanity, did it ever? Creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity is the opportunity we have. This education is alive created 100 years ago, a gift from the past needed in the present to take us into the future!

Steiner’s indications for education are based on the research into child development conducted by Austrian educator and philosopher Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925). Out of his own striving after truth, Steiner was led to develop a theory of knowledge, one which took its start from a direct experience of the spiritual nature of thinking. These indications for education hold a 100-year history, and have a successful track record of innovative education practices that address and cultivate these essential skills. Steiner’s indications for education approach recognizes the simple but profound insight that children learn in distinctly different ways at different stages of their development. Steiner’s indications for education introduce subjects and teach in ways that correspond to the developmental needs of the growing child. A strong academic, practical and artistic curriculum is based on building and fostering the child’s natural capacities at each developmental stage. Students learning through Steiner’s indications for education learn traditional academic subjects through the distinctive and time-tested teaching methods that serve the children’s intellectual, physical, emotional and spiritual development. Engaging the hands and the heart as well as the head/mind cultivates a real inner enthusiasm for learning, the hallmark of educating “the whole child”.

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