How much of our childhood years do we spend in schools? Most of them. And schools are considered – and rightly so – one of the most important places in the process of establishing fundamentals for a human being to develop and thrive in the future. They should also play a decisive role in determining how we impact our environment. But do they?
Our Holistic Think Tank’s Grant Competition aims at devising a new interdisciplinary subject (IDS) which will clear the path to establishing the above-mentioned fundamentals.
Based on the research conducted so far by our Holistic Think Tank, we were able to list the topics which should be addressed in schools and the resultant key competencies that students need to master:
Key cognitive competencies shouldtranslate into:
• Being able to use evidence-based argumentation (e.g. based on mathematical reasoning or a series of philosophical statements)
• Overall ability to assess information and to interpret it clearly
• Being able to think critically about issues and challenges both those concerning one’s individual life and those affecting one’s immediate surrounding, as well as the wider public
• Coping in the digital world (being digitally literate, able to assess the value of online content, remaining aware of ethical dilemmas and cognitive challenges involved in using information technology, but also being able to utilize computational thinking in other fields).
Key cultural, interpersonal, and emotional competencies include:
• Understanding linguistic diversity and the importance of being proficient in at least one modern foreign language
• Interest in how societies function and curiosity about other cultures (ability to represent various cultural patterns different from your own)
• Ability to communicate effectively with others
• Collaboration and cooperation, especially while initiating and carrying out collaborative projects
• Being able to understand, regulate, and manage one’s own emotions (which includes dealing with various kinds of emotional obstacles one may encounter)
• Developingappropriate assertiveness
• Acquiring basic time-management skills relevant to one’s age
• Developing strong work ethics, leadership skills, and tenacity (enabling one to follow through with one’s various endeavours and projects).
Other key competencies include:
• Awareness of how one’s actions and policy choices made by communities impact the natural environment
• Practical entrepreneurial skills and economic awareness (enabling one to function productively in a capitalistic society without being taken advantage of)
• Functioningin relationto state institutions, in particular fostering a pro-active approach towards being an informed citizen involved in the democratic process.
The new interdisciplinary subject and an outline of the interdisciplinary curriculum are to address the above-mentioned topics and help students to develop, among other things, the key competencies. They are going to be a stage in the process of transforming the way young people are educated today. The winners of our competition will be awarded a financial grant that should allow them to implement the IDS course in a practical programme and produce materials which will be instrumental in disseminating their pedagogical methods and research findings.