Do IB School students have the capacity to lead?
Leadership is the capacity to lead under various conditions or challenges and all kinds of strategies fall under this role. The world has seen various kinds of leaders who have to lead rationally, emotionally, empathetically, militarily, democratically, autocratically, imperially and so on and Top IB Schools in Gurgaon cannot argue its value.
The world is rapidly changing and we see a new set of skills coming under the focus. 21st Century Skills have been widely discussed by educational thinkers and policymakers.
Students from Top IB Schools in Gurgaon these days are very strongly equipped with digital skills. Students are both tech-minded and tech-savvy. Technology has made them aware of so many things that we, as elders, are not aware of. Students are very quick to adapt to the change or advancing new technology. I work as a teacher in one of the best international schools in Gurugram and so I get to interact with the best young minds. We as elders are only slowing down their speeds. We may find their minds are cluttered and that there is chaos inside their minds but there is order in that chaos wherein, possibly, we are not able to find a trend or a pattern students capacity to lead. These young people are the right kind of raw materials that we need to mould into future leaders.
These 21st-century students are strong Inquirers
I see them, very often, raising questions against the old cultural practices and rituals. They do not find a reason which is why they refuse to accept to follow those practices or rituals. It is of paramount importance that we give them reasons rather than hushing them up and forcing them to fall in line. It is the responsibility of parents and teachers to give them the reasons that they need so as to help them value their own cultures. We must also remain open-minded enough to let go of some vices that exist in our cultures and religions that need weeding out.
I find it very important for educational institutions to introduce ‘Ethics’ as a subject, somewhat like the ‘Theory of Knowledge’ of IBDP as taught in IB International schools. This is very powerful in helping students develop critical thinking and a sense of ethical righteousness. The world needs leaders with a strong sense of fairness and justice. These 21st-century students are very capable of discussion, debate and conference skills. They will make great leaders with the right amount of ethical awareness while making or justifying their decisions.
Below are ideas we can explore more:
Give a space for students to give feedback or share their views on any matter. Discussions and debates form the crux of learning by doing it. They will love this rather than being lectured upon.
Make use of technology which can help us set up digital conference centres where students from various classes can sit together, discuss and come to a consensus about an issue. There can be a digital debate between various classes on the topic of education, leadership and any other matter. It is impossible for teachers to talk to each student in a class individually so we must give them space where they can learn from each other.
The purpose of the discussion is not merely to hear one another’ opinions but to share our own too. We must avoid turning it into a he-said-she-said situation in which students are experts.
Give them space to air their views. It is not that they do not have any ideas, just that they lack the platform or medium where they can voice their opinion so teachers must initiate this kind of debate with them.
It must also be appreciated of schools for providing ample opportunities for the leadership skills to develop. It is so very common among international schools to see students participating in Model United Nations Conferences, speaking at TedX conferences, leading the study perfect councils, setting up their own NGOs to make social change, leading the fundraisers and advocating for equality and a safe environment for future generations. It all gives me a lot of hope that the educational institutions are doing some things absolutely right, though the efforts are benefiting only a small section of the population.
Top Schools in Gurgaon need to trust students and give them many chances to learn and perfect their leadership skills. We need to give them many opportunities to take risks so that they can learn both to cherish the victory as well as to bear with the defeat.