Teachers are the key to quality learning
15 April, Billund, Denmark: If teachers receive greater recognition and more tools to work with when they teach, children’s learning will improve. This was one of many conclusions at the 2016 LEGO Idea Conference, where attendees focused on problem solving, creativity and collaboration in the pursuit of quality learning. The conclusions of the conference will be injected into the global education debate and major platforms such as the UN General Assembly.
Being a teacher should have the same status as being a doctor or a lawyer. Teachers should also have more tools in their toolbox in order to give their students the best learning possible. This is also a way for teaching to become more interesting and attractive for young people, which ultimately would result in better learning experiences for millions of children worldwide.
This was one of several conclusions at the recent LEGO Idea Conference, where 300 academics, practitioners, policy makers and representatives from international organizations discussed what quality learning is and how to implement quality learning at scale.
One of the most prominent experts at the conference, Finnish Pasi Sahlberg, won the 2016 LEGO Prize for his work to improve the quality of children’s education globally. Pasi Sahlberg sees the global education reform movement as a virus. He believes that testing alone is the wrong way to quality education. Instead, school systems should build on children’s natural curiosity and collaboration.
The LEGO Foundation shares Pasi Sahlberg’s view, and believes that children’s learning must be stimulated through play. According to Hanne Rasmussen, CEO of the LEGO Foundation, teachers are key to quality learning.
“If we are to succeed in giving our children the best opportunities, we need to support the teachers more than we do now. The support has to come from both parents, schools and politicians. Furthermore, we need to provide teachers with more tools, which they can use to stimulate their students. Play has the ability to engage children and at the same time make it fun to learn,” says Hanne Rasmussen.
Problem solving, creativity and cooperation must play a role
The LEGO Foundation wants to support the global community by providing tools in order to achieve international education goals and implement quality learning at scale. Play and creative thinking are essential in this process. Today, school is still about fact and knowledge acquisition focusing on producing students who are great at passing tests with just one right answer.
“The gap between the skills that children learn in school and the skills they need to function well in current and future society is constantly growing. It is essential that we equip our children with a universal skills set that enables them to become lifelong learners. This demands a focus on skills like problem solving, creativity and cooperation. Research has shown time and time again that children, who are stimulated and engaged from the earliest childhood, do better in school and later in life,” says Hanne Rasmussen.
The LEGO Foundation will now prepare a report based on the conclusions from this year’s conference. The report will inject the viewpoints of the conference into the global education debate and major platforms such as the UN General Assembly. All with the ambition to fuel the debate and to create a framework for quality in learning and hence support the global community with concrete tools to reach the international goals and implement quality learning at scale.