Metaverse Or Metaskills: What Do Our Children Really Need?

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Meet Joe Woods, the director at Creolabs, who for many years has been involved in consultancy in creative thinking and innovation management. While sitting down for a chat with Gadgets host Rachel Cachia, Woods strived to tackle one big question: is our education system doing enough for our children?

The quick answer is no. The local education system does not prepare our children for the future – or even for what’s to come in the next 10, 15 years. Maltese students are devoid of critical and creative thinking skills, but Woods said he found a reluctance within the government ministries to implement anything of the sort.

As he argues, what children need first and foremost are ‘metaskills’, which include creative and critical thinking, as well as communicative abilities. Metaskills may then be used as a catalyst for learning and building new skills faster, including major academic subjects like sciences or languages.

Creativity opens the mind, nurtures ideas, inspires collective thinking & supports resilience

Being creative enables us to approach difficulties with greater inventiveness and openness. Creativity opens the mind, nurtures ideas, inspires collective thinking, and supports resilience. All-in-all, it can assist us in overcoming bias by broadening our perspectives.

In some ways, Woods’ argument pays homage to Maltese academic icon Edward de Bono, who came up with the Six Thinking Hats approach: a tool used to force perspective and capture new ideas by assigning different points of discussion to individuals. He was also the developer of lateral thinking and worked with Woods between 2004 and 2011.

Edward de Bono, the originator of the term ‘lateral thinking’
85% of university-educated professionals say creative thinking is critical for problem-solving in careers

Both Woods and de Bono could surely agree that inviting creativity into the classroom is essential. A study by Adobe even revealed that 85% of university-educated professionals say creative thinking is critical for problem-solving in careers. And according to LinkedIn data, creativity is also the second most in-demand skill, topping the list of soft skills companies need most.

So the question stands – is it time to shake up our education system?

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