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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

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Why GenZ and GenAlpha need to do school differently

CHOOSE to educate children for a fast-evolving future.

CHOOSE to educate children for a fast-evolving future.

Published Oct 1, 2021


THIS might have worked for past generations. However, the seismic changes in our world, accelerated by relentless tech innovation over the recent decades, have fundamentally disrupted this particular flow of tradition.

It has forced us back to basics, where we acknowledge that the purpose of education is to prepare our children for their working and civic future, not to provide us with more sought-after parental “touchpoints”. The world of work has fundamentally changed. So much so that we are educating our children today for jobs that don’t yet exist, and they need to be educated in different ways.

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For our GenZ and GenAlpha children, understanding how they learn has become more significant than what content they can retain in their memories. The teacher has transformed from a content provider in front of the class, to a learning expert – able to coach the students at their side, along their unique learning pathways. Literacy has expanded to include media, information, civic, and technological literacies. What this means is that, as parents, we should be worried if our child’s educational environment today looks and seems a lot like the one that we experienced.

The Koa Academy education model prioritises individualised learning, with children grouped in small eight-person pods, working every day with a dedicated, specialist teacher, who has not only mastered online pedagogy – but understands the needs of each child in their pod. The platform is registered as a South African IEB curriculum provider, leveraging educational resources from all around the world. With the flexibility that only an online platform can provide, academic progress is mastery-based enabling children to speed up or slow down as needed, and for families to schedule timetables and terms in ways that suit them best.

“Our aim is to prepare children for the real world. Learning is rooted in real-world issues; tasks give children options, and age-appropriate feedback is ongoing so that children can adapt and grow in dynamic ways as they learn. In this way, assessment is embedded in the learning process, and not a disconnected result that they can’t actually learn from. Our passionate teachers are curating and facilitating content at the child’s pace. Each child progresses when they have mastered the learning, which is the only real way to ensure that no one is left behind,” says Mark Anderson, principal of Koa Academy.

Like everything else in life, traditional education has been disrupted over the past pandemic months. If there’s a silver lining to the Covid-19 clouds, it’s the idea that we can create a better reality for our families, community, and country.