Pensive thoughts on individuality...

We are all different and we celebrate being different. However, at the same time, we also like putting labels on people. I’m a tall woman, so often people will ask “How tall are you?” as if that is the only quantifier to my being. Similarly, I played competitive netball when I was younger and  people will automatically ask my daughter “Do you play netball?” We see a parent being a surgeon and automatically people will wonder if the child will follow in their footsteps. 

Let us embrace individualism, accept people for who they are without putting people into little boxes and we will see less discrimination, less bullying, and fewer children suffering from depression in schools.

In our last newsletter we spoke about “Competition amongst students” and I want to raise another point leading on from there. There is something profoundly stirring in our society. We need to abandon traditional standards and we need to look at personalising the way we learn, our approach to life, the way we play, learn and deal with everyday scenarios.

This also harkens back to my opening piece. We need to start by embracing people’s individualism and their differences. People should not be ashamed of who they are or what they have not achieved. This needs to be reflected in our education system. We need to stop comparing children and gauge them by the scores vs the classroom score. That is, we need to encourage competitive ambition without putting pressure on children if they fail. 

How can we individualise learning? That seems impossible, but is it? 

If we can apply Maths, Science, Biology, English to everyday, real-world problems, students can relate to the problem and come up with their own solutions. New institutions are popping up where students follow an interdisciplinary, problem-based curriculum, with the London Interdisciplinary School starting this fall. Instead of studying law or medicine or geography, students tackle real-world issues like mental health, inequality, or tech and ethics. They learn to use quantitative and qualitative research methods such as ethnography, storytelling, and machine learning, while applying different subject lenses to the problem at hand—say, economics, psychology, or statistics. Teachers have to be versatile, not just single-subject experts. 

People are all motivated by different scenarios. There are times to collaborate and there are times to compete. It’s good to learn how to compete in a meaningful way and just as important, it’s good to learn how to fail. We need to learn from our failures and use the mistakes we have made to become better individuals in society. If we can introduce humour and interactiveness with students I believe the engagement will be higher. Students learn more when they are engaged in learning, and that leads to fun while learning.

Kai’s Clan’s unique feature is collaboration. In our projects we want students to collaborate, some students may have a niche for maths, or coding or design. So put a diverse team together where they can apply their knowledge to the 60+ lesson plans. Our collaboration is two-fold: both within the classroom and interschool (regional or international!). Students can also code their robots from anywhere in the world, so a teacher can set up the kit in their classroom, and students can log in and code the robots from anywhere in the world. Kai’s Clan is the first robot platform that can be coded virtually.

A big thanks!

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