Kristin graduates are future ready

Right from its inception in 1973, Kristin has had a vision to prepare our students to move out into the world and make a difference wherever they go. This in turn led to decisions around the curriculum offered and the philosophic direction of the school, developing international mindedness and ensuring that Kristin graduates are future ready.

This aligns closely with a lot of the research undertaken by the late Sir Ken Robinson, and has led me, more recently, to read work by Professor Gert Biesta who works with educators across the globe.

Professor Biesta discusses how many countries still focus on a curriculum-centred education where emphasis is placed on transferring knowledge to the student and then measuring their understanding of this. While there are slightly different methods for this, and ways of measuring progress, the end goal is always very similar. Alternatively, there is child-centred education where the focus is on the child, the talents they have and the benefits of play-based education. One of these is very popular in earlier education and we all recognise that there is a shift towards the other as students progress through school.

He goes on to suggest a third option that to some extent combines the two in a relationship, but most importantly includes how to equip the next generation to live ‘in and with’ the world. This world-centred approach considers not only the student, but also how they do and will fit into the world and to recognise its limits. It hopes to make students aware and prepared to address issues that we are currently facing, such as the ecological crisis, the democratic crisis and the ego-logical crisis, where individuals place too much emphasis on themselves and forget the wider impact their lives have.

The past two years have shown us the need for people to identify how their actions can have a wide-ranging and sometimes international impact. Our students may be facing challenges that require them to form global links, consider the impact of their decisions, not only on their own lives, but also potentially on those in countries they have never visited. Relationships, travel, economies, all aspects of life are becoming increasingly global and inter-twined. How do we prepare our students for this? How do we ensure that their focus is outward looking, rather than inward?

Many of the questions that education asks are existential questions and here at Kristin education is first and foremost a verb: something we do. Kristin students are being exposed to global issues, they are using inquiry-based learning to look at big issues, they are developing their cultural awareness and I believe they are being prepared to tackle some of these crises that are currently facing the world. Kristin students get involved in service activities, sustainability programmes, leadership, and cultural activities. Our students are future ready, and this increasingly means being prepared to take on the challenges of being a global citizen and recognising the importance of doing so. 

As has often been stated when looking at global issues like climate change, the time to make change is now, before it is too late. This means that a lot may rest on their shoulders, and it is our responsibility to provide them with the skills and perspectives to meet these.