“The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.”
― Walt Disney Company, Mulan
Recently after my educational tours and contributions at global conferences for the past two months; I have been thinking about how to pilot our new educational program for our young students. From my interactions with young people all over the world- thinking like a global citizen is important. Involving their parents and teachers in this pilot program is requiring me to put on my thinking cap; however one of the key skills that is required by employers for the future of work is Problem solving. Having African children thinking critically and tackle challenges right before them-this would motivate them in learning because the real truth is most of our students are bored out of their minds in our schools..
How does this come to fruition?
For the past four years, we have held programs for teachers and children. I have read material all across the globe on infusing STEM for future readiness. I have attended various programs- in Nigeria, in West Africa, Europe and the United States to familiarize myself with more content and the know-how on implementing this program.
I always center my programs around design thinking, as a framework for innovation and setting up Project Based Learning modules. The key idea from our program is to work on enabling our mid-childhood, pre-teen, and early teenage learners to become innovative solution makers. While addressing problems within their community and the public at-large.
Currently my mind is filled with possibilities: How do we engage our students in a, could we develop cross-curricular connections, raise more critical thinkers? I desire to be ambitious and have been declaring an intention to raise up to 2 million children who will be innovators.
The how is still in the works… should we work through the model of clubs, afterschool programs or direct infusion in schools? There is great need to be creative in the tough and stifling environment that currently exists.
Children support our programs
At all of the programs that we have held; the students have been excited about hands on learning. They welcome the idea of challenges and working in teams to solve the problems. This is critical because we need their buy in as they are the end users in our initiative and are the people who should derive the most benefit from it.
Significant feats for our innovative type of learning
The most significant parts of innovative programs is being able to model what one aims to achieve.
The moment the educators are enthused about the method, students follow their cue and get fully engaged. They accept that they could be successful and enjoy carrying out the project. Creating a positive and welcoming environment is important. Another important element to the success of innovative programs is getting the community involved- parents, small business owners, leaders in the community at large. In our case, we have had parents, motivational speakers and professionals speak to the children.
Imagine a community showcase that allows parents and community stakeholders to experience what our students create. Following this exhibition with competitions and, inviting business leaders to add their authority to the program.
Our goal is to our push students out of their cozy zones and ignite their passions, once this happens and their imaginations are set ablaze; amazing things take place. This is how we motivate and encourage our students to become global leaders.
Adetola Salau; Global Educator / International Speaker / Author/ Social Entrepreneur/ Innovative Thinker/Future Readiness Advocate/ STEM Certified Trainer
She is an Advocate of STEM Education and is Passionate about Education reform. She is an innovative thinker and strives for our society & continent as a whole to reclaim it’s greatness.