The traditional approach to education must be revolutionised in order to ensure the best outcomes for the current generation of school children, who are increasingly being called Generation Alpha, and whose world differs materially from the world in which their Millennial parents grew up, an education expert says.
“Generation Alpha represents those children who were born after 2010, who are now at the beginning stages of their school careers,” says Jenny Coetzee, career educator and founding member of the ADvTECH Group’s prestigious Crawford School La Lucia.
Coetzee, currently MD of the soon to be opened Crawford International School in Kenya, has in the course of her decades-long career forged an exceptional reputation as a visionary pioneer and leader in the education space.
She says each generation – whether they be Generation X, Y or Z – grew up in a world different to that of their parents and the generations before them. Just as each of these generations were exposed to unique circumstances, challenges and opportunities, so are the newest generation, whose labelling as Generation Alpha is fast gaining traction.
“These children are the most connected, educated and sophisticated generation ever, so when educating, a school should provide an environment that enhances learning for these digital integrators,” she says.
“These children live in an open-book environment – just a few clicks away from any information, they connect in a borderless world – across countries and cultures, and they communicate in a post-literate community where texts and tweets are brief, and where visuals and videos have the greatest impact.”
She says schools should be putting special emphasis on developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills, so that students are equipped to see problems from different angles and formulate their own solutions.