We tell our kids that if they want to succeed in life, they need to get good grades. That they need to excel in all academic aspects, from getting recognition in competitions and exceeding expectations in all their subjects. As their guardians, we instruct them tomemorise their lessons better, make sure they are are able to exactly define key concepts and terms, and advise them on how to jot down notes properly.
We forget that learning is not just about school performance, but the values learnt from the institution that shape their attitude towards the world. Focusing too much on academics leave so little room for us to help our kids develop their ability to empathise, to express their emotions and perspectives, and to practise listening with an open mind.
A values-based education is key
Giving as much weight to social skills as we do academic instruction is the core of a values-based educational framework or what we call a holistic education. This is a frameworkthat has become increasingly popular with schools. It is not just a philosophy being adhered to by Montessori schools anymore. For this reason, we will look into a Singapore international school named One World International School, who has made a name for itself because of its holistic, values-based learning model.
Meeting the challenges of living in the 21st century
One World International School focuses on teaching students the importance of learning about:
- Healthy relationships and pro-social behaviour
- Social development
- Emotional development
At first glimpse, this may look too idealistic. But let us put it this way: while success is relative, to be able to arm children with the confidence in their abilities as they grow older, it starts with teaching them to value themselves first. They then learn that by recognising their abilities, they can achieve what it is they put their mind to.
The school believes that being able to do what they want is directly related to the relationships that they are going to build with other people to achieve their goals and how they are going to treat those relationships. This is where the instruction on social development, emotional development, and pro-social behaviour comes in the learning model.
Encouraging continuous learning
We are all born naturally inquisitive, and One World International School wants to nurture that innate curiosity by teaching students to love learning. It is through continuous learning that we evolve as humans, that we adapt to the changing times, and become prime movers of society. The schools believes that continuous learning provides students with:
- Personal growth and expanded horizons
- Increased employability and improved career development prospects
- A broader range of interests and a wider social life
Three main guiding principles
To achieve all of these, One World International school is guided by three core principles, namely:
Engaging with other people opens kids up to different perspectives that they can then learn and digest. The goal is to produce critical thinkers who will consider all sides of an issue before taking on a stand. This also encourages deeper learning, contextual understanding, oral communication, and social skills.
There are thousands of people who need help around the world and causes to support. We all want our kids to be socially aware and responsible, making sure that they see the value of helping the community and helping improve society at large.
Being One with the World
Basically, the school teaches clarity of thought. Humans are capable of going beyond expectations and exploring new possibilities. But this must be done through thoughtful actions and free from external influences, so that they can make a positive impact in the world.