OLASHORE International School Principlal, Derek Smith, Speaks Candidly on Effect Of Habitat Change On Educational Creativity
This is a private co-educational boarding secondary school for 600 students located in Osun State, Nigeria. It is listed in the top schools in Nigeria. It was established by Oba Oladele Olashore Ajagbusi-Ekun of Iloko-Ijesa, where he was king, in 1993. The School's motto is "Honesty, Service and Honour" The school believes in the dignity and worth of each student and recognizes the importance of mutual responsibility in the world community. It was founded to offer the quality boarding education to Nigerians, living at home or abroad, who wish to provide their children with an international standard.
The School principal is a man versed in education and seasoned, he is Mr Derek Smith,and only recently he opines that the change of habits and habitats of schools and students will go a long way to increase creativity. According to him, the habits of our institutions and the habitats they occupy have a way of influence what they think and what they do. He stated this during his speech on ‘The Future Of Education’ at the 2016 Africa Outstanding Primary School Awards recently held in Lagos.
“We need to consciously change out habits and habitats in order to increase creativity. We think teaching is all about having teachers stand in front of willing recipients, but it’s more than that. Critical thinking, Communication, Collaboration and Creativity will help students learn better. The world is changing very fast. Every Child is an opportunity. We don’t need to copy the developmental stages of any country, rather we should think of how to move ahead. The greatest challenge when you are good at something, is how to keep being the best.”
“The solution to make students successful is that we need to engage our learners, transform our schools, employ efficient and easy use of tools, and connect to the real world. There’s no right way to do this than to introduce the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK), Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK), Technological Knowledge (TK), Technological Content Knowledge (TCK), Content Knowledge (CK), Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK). The three (3) legs of the school’s 21st century learning are Pedagogy, Content and Technology, and that is why we need if and when we are going to create a revolution in education, he reiterated.”
He pointed out that teachers need to be trained on the use of technology so they can impacts on the children. “Learning will be effective with technology, however training teachers should be a pre-requisite for one on one e-learning project. Do not put technology in any school until teachers are trained in order to give them the confidence to train the students. Let them know how to combine pedagogical and technology in teachers whether they are PHD holders or not. Technology can make teaching real”.
He admitted that Olashore International School spent about eighteen (18) months planning the implementation of iPads in the school, and sent teachers for trainings, before the implementation of the iPad usage in the school. He explained that the importance of the iPad to Olashore students cannot be far-fetched from Technology Empowered Training, Apps that enhance learning, Collaborative learning, Engaged learners, Instant feedback and Happy Learners. He mentioned the core skills of blending technology with education to include Critical thinking and problem solving, Collaboration and Communication, Creativity and Imagination, Global Citizenship, Digital Literacy, and Student leadership and personal development.
He reiterated further “Change takes time and deep change may take longer. In future, no one will pay you for knowledge they can look up. We are however creating graduates perfectly developed for a world that no longer exists. At the World Economic Forum (WCF) which brings Business leaders together every year at Davos, plans are made to see the opportunities that lie ahead of business in five (5) years’ time. In the same vein, as educationists, we should ascertain what becomes of our children in five (5) years’ time, this is because the future of education lies in the continuous application of creativity. He listed some of the expectant top skills of students as at the year 2020 to include, Complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, people management, coordinating with others, emotional intelligence, judgment and decision making, Service Orientation, Negotiation, and Cognitive flexibility”. He stated clearly that divergent thinking is different from creativity.
Established in 1994, on 60 acres of land, Olashore International School is a co-educational school which offers high quality education in a wide range of subjects at Junior Secondary and Senior Secondary along with a University Foundation Programme in partnership with Lancaster University and the Institute of Education, Dublin. Over the past 20 years, the school has succeeded in developing a cluster of world class services around the school including a first class hotel, a golf course and a leadership training centre that all combine to give the school a unique identity. The school is particularly appealing to discerning Nigerians at home and abroad, as well as expatriates residing in Nigeria, who desire a school with a strong value system, demonstrable track record and a clear sense of purpose. @olashore_s