When Knowledge Becomes Secondary

I recently wrote an article and submitted it to UKEd Magazine.

It is called “When Knowledge Becomes Secondary” – a simple title based on the premise that knowledge is not as important as the skills you gain along the way. Read below if you’d like to see the full 200-word mini article:

Asking open-ended questions engages children and evokes a variety of responses.
Asking open-ended questions engages children and fosters thoughtful and reflective ideas.

Everyone knows how it feels to tick a massive, complex, time-consuming task off our “to-do” lists – amazing! But a lot of times we forget how many personal, social, and psychological skills are associated with the completion of such tasks. The perseverance, communication, and “tinkering” required to complete a task is enough to put many people off doing it altogether. We are quick to forget that these are the basic underlying skills with which we do manage to complete those tasks. Unfortunately, these skills are still often viewed as “secondary” in the classroom. With shifts in education focussing more on skills instead of knowledge, it is crucial that children have opportunities to build important “real-life” skills, such as cooperation, perseverance, and recognising the importance of a positive, reflective attitude. Project-based learning gives children a starting point, guidelines, and a clear end goal; it is up to them to figure out the rest. Teachers acting as mentors as opposed to dictators give children the chance to generate their own ideas, discuss them, and work through various steps before reaching a clear solution. In the process, they gain more than just “knowledge” – they gain something much more valuable; a sense of genuine accomplishment.

Please let me know what you think in the comments below!