By Linda Mora
When we choose the pathways for our children that ultimately result in a cumulative learning journey that prepares them for the real world, it’s important to make good decisions. Are the educational pathways we choose actually giving them the tools, skills and mindset to succeed, and even become great leaders?
There’s no doubt that, given today’s highly digital culture, one of the key elements of a child’s education should focus on the personality traits needed to thrive in this fast-paced world. While every child will no doubt learn to be technology proficient at a younger and younger age, with iPads and smartphones being the norm, you can do even more for them by giving them great digital leadership skills.
What does this mean exactly? Leadership consulting powerhouse, Heidrich & Struggles, characterizes a leader’s ability to thrive in a digital world as “digital dexterity.” They define this as an ability to “stay ahead of emerging trends, embrace innovation, and constantly reinvent themselves…”
So, if you map some of these characteristics to a Montessori education, it’s easy to see that there are four ways that help build a child’s personality foundation for digital preparedness.
Nurturing creativity: The Montessori method has a strong focus on building a solid foundation of creativity in a child, which aligns perfectly with thinking “outside the box” in a digital world. The future will be led by those individuals who think differently, and can come up with new digital solutions for overcoming old problems.
Collaboration skills: One of the benefits of a more digitized world is how it has made it easier for individuals and teams to work together more efficiently, such as video conferencing. Montessori emphasizes collaboration between children, such as sharing ideas and information, and working together to discover new ways of thinking.
Thriving independence: At Montessori, children are allowed to work and learn at their own unique pace, and other aspects promote a true sense of independence, self-direction, and self-confidence in a child. These are valued traits in the digital world, giving them the confidence to forge ahead and “embrace innovation.”
Loving to learn: Heidrich & Struggles cites “a mindset of experimentation” as a key character trait of great leaders in a digital world. The Montessori method nurtures a true love of learning, using a child’s unique abilities and intuition to guide their learning with the skills to “constantly reinvent themselves.”
With so much focus today on technology, it’s easy to neglect the foundational and crucial character traits that children should begin learning at an early age to truly succeed in a digital world. With its enduring principals, a Montessori education is ideal for the future.