'Student happiness is a pre-requisite to success'

Student happiness is a pre-requisite to success

Dubai - Dr Vicki Zakrzewski explained that schools need to increasingly check the emotional literacy of their students.



By Staff Reporter

Published: Sat 12 Mar 2016, 7:40 PM

Last updated: Sun 13 Mar 2016, 9:28 AM

The education fraternity's main priority should be to pursue happiness, said Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Director-General of the Dubai Government Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).Speaking at a four-member panel comprising of Tony Little, Chief Academic Officer, GEMS Education, UK; Dr Vicki Zakrzewski, Education Director of the Greater Good Science Centre, USA, and Alexandra Harper, Head of Early Childhood, Redlands School, Australia, Dr Al Karam stated that children are born curious but lose that curiosity as they grow older thus adversely affecting their emotional and social wellbeing.
Speaking at a four-member panel comprising of Tony Little, Chief Academic Officer, GEMS Education, UK; Dr Vicki Zakrzewski, Education Director of the Greater Good Science Centre, USA, and Alexandra Harper, Head of Early Childhood, Redlands School, Australia, Dr Al Karam stated that children are born curious but lose that curiosity as they grow older thus adversely affecting their emotional and social wellbeing.
"At the entry point for schools, four-year-old children ask around 100 questions a day," explained Dr Al Karam (pictured). "Six years later they only ask 10 questions daily." He then asked the audience how many questions we ask as grownups, stating that we lose our curiosity as we grow older.
He said: "This is because we tend to put measurement of academics above the social wellness of students which tends to destroy creativity and curiosity. The education system did a great job in the past to focus on the top six inches of our head but we need to address the needs of students a little lower - the heart - to teach children about their emotional and social happiness."
Dr Vicki Zakrzewski explained that schools need to increasingly check the emotional literacy of their students. "We are more than just a test score - we need to cultivate our children's emotional and social health. We need to be human, we need to build bridges and ensure that happiness is an element of our pedagogical outlook."
Alexandra Harper, whose mission is to promote her students' creativity, individuality and wellbeing, has created tools that encourage students to celebrate happiness while Tony Little highlighted how competence and creativity is deadened by measurement tools.
dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com


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