Re-imagining Education for 21st Century Learners – The Need of the Hour

As the World Protocol Magazine Editorial Board, we take enormous pride in keeping this platform open to all experts from the numerous fields of business and protocol: Dr. Shauli Mukherjee, from India is the next of many who have taken the opportunity of working together with WPM. She has dedicated her life towards promotion of child-centric and activity-oriented education. Dr. Mukherjee believes that the purpose of meaningful education is to develop lifelong learners, creative thinkers and responsible global citizens who are confidently equipped to face the challenges of an uncertain and constantly unfolding future.

There is an urgent and pressing need to re-imagine and redefine education to suit the needs and demands of an ever changing and constantly unfolding volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world. In order to address and challenge the emerging global complexities, we do not need mechanically trained minds loaded with facts and figures – minds which are systematically formulated to think alike – minds which are mere by-products of the industrial factory model of productivity, rather we require minds which are capable of divergent thinking and out-of-the box ideation. In order to nurture such minds, we must allow the young learners more time which they can effectively utilize in following their curiosity, creating, sharing, exploring, and experimenting with their novel and unique ideas.

We have to stop stigmatizing failures and mistakes and realize that they are both essential components of learning. We also must allow the creative minds to not only seek innovative solutions to the problems but also to look out for inherent problems in existing solutions. A complete mind-set shift is required to re-imagine higher education that will essentially suit the learning needs and demands of the present generation of youths. Our primary responsibility as educationists is to help enable the young learners to evolve into more confident, competent, dynamic, and authentic versions of themselves who are holistically equipped to address the constantly emerging global complexities of the 21st century VUCA world.

There is absolutely no dearth of talents, capabilities, and potentialities in today’s youth. They have to essentially remember that the world doesn’t care and is not changed a bit by how much one knows, rather it definitely gets impacted by what one decides to do with what he/she knows. It would make more sense if we as responsible adults – as parents and educators – ask our children/young learners that what is that one problem/ issue that they would want to solve which would cause a real difference in the lives of the people around them rather asking them the clichéd question as to whether they would like to become a doctor or engineer as they grow up. The answer to this question would definitely help them to ascertain the purpose of their lives. They would aspire to create a greater purpose for all that they would do and stand for. their purpose will eventually act as a strong magnet to pull people towards their vision. Their purpose will ultimately decide their destination. We must render that essential support to our young learners which would enable them to follow their passion, believe in themselves and continue to dream big – and then even sky is not the limit for them.

I strongly believe that a true leader is one who knows the way, shows the way and most importantly, goes the way. In the words of Rosalyn Carter, a leader takes people where they want to go but a great leader takes people where they don’t want to go but ought to be. The real role of leadership in education should never be one of command and control, rather it should be one of climate control – that is, creating a suitable climate of infinite possibilities and immense potentialities where our young learners would continue to evolve into their highest, truest and the very best versions of themselves.

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