Dubai, UAE: Education expert, Dr. Paul Lieblich, affirms that education requires an overhaul in order to answer the transitioning needs of global industry and society as a whole. Assigned to Clarion School Dubai following his recent appointment as Director of Schools at Scholars International Group, his first aim is to reshape the process of learning to ensure that it addresses the demands of a rapidly-evolving modern world.
Evidence of the changing requirements within industries is already being seen by leading recruitment firm Hanson Search. Its Middle East office is witnessing new criteria stipulated from employers in which applicants possessing soft skills are much more competitive than those with just sector-specific qualifications.
Addressing the need for change in education, Dr. Paul Lieblich, Director of Schools, explained:
“Our industries are changing due to automation and other seismic shifts. In order to remain competitive in the workforce, people need to be able to adapt and innovate in their roles. Education needs to be re-imagined to meet the changing needs in society. By addressing the process of learning and instilling the joy of learning within children, we can create a desire in them to be continual learners. At Clarion we are ensuring that our children receive a robust academic program with an equally strong foundation in the development of soft skills. This is what progressive education aims to achieve.”
The process of learning is a key feature of Clarion School Dubai – the first progressive school in the MENA region. Clarion School Dubai, is built off a framework developed in collaboration with the renowned Bank Street College of Education in New York City. While learning is aligned to accredited American standards, there is a realignment of education to be learner-centered with a heavy emphasis on the process of learning. This involves a high level of expert facilitation where all teachers are required to have a minimum of a Master’s Degree in Education.
He continued:“There needs to be a structural shift in our understanding that education is no longer a rite of passage that ends after college, but something that continues beyond the academic setting. Hence we must focus on developing a child’s toolkit to learn, to want to learn and to enjoy the process of learning. This is the real value proposition to our children at Clarion- once we acknowledge that K-12 education is only one part of the required learning for an individual, we can then better understand what the purpose of a K-12 education should be.”
Felice Hurst, Managing Director of Hanson Search Middle East said:
“Future job seekers will require an adaptable, or soft skill set that is focused upon their abilities to respond effectively to change, and innovate using a high degree of interpersonal skills. Many employers are looking for candidates that challenge the norm, and have a much broader set of transferrable competencies in order to innovate across a variety of areas. Recently we’ve started to see that as much as 70% of recent hires are those who can demonstrate more adaptable skill sets.”
Dubai’s governmental authority for education, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), is currently preparing to pilot its own innovative approach to education that looks to address these very questions – the Rahhal Project. The Project is part of the Dubai 10X initiative, which aims to set Dubai government entities 10 years ahead of the rest of the world. The Rahhal project is a “flexible and accessible education model providing knowledge, skills and experiences to the community at any age”. It recognizes “all the learning that takes place [both in and outside of a classroom], enabling learners to build upon their experiences and present those to employers as attested, official proof of their learning history”.
By giving children greater ownership of the learning process, localizing the learning to make it relevant, creating an application to the learning and appreciating and respecting the inputs of all children, Clarion’s focus on the process of learning helps develop children who are intrinsically motivated to carry on learning. This approach to learning develops important traits like a growth mind-set, resilience, collaboration, communication, creativity, innovation and critical thinking.
Clarion School Dubai offers an American Curriculum school and is the only progressive school in the region. The school employs highly skilled educators with each classroom staffed by two teachers, the lead requiring at least a Master’s qualification in Education.May 2018