We live in a rapidly changing world with shifting careers and political landscapes, and an increasingly complex social, digital and economic life.
This poses the question, what skills do our children need for a digital future, one that none of us can necessarily imagine? How can we ensure our children are capable of meeting new challenges?
With a child focused approach at the heart of the curriculum, Steiner education develops skills in creativity, curiosity, lifelong learning, critical thinking, innovation, connectedness and positivity.
These skills equip students to meet the complex needs of the 21st century, however, in contrast to mainstream schools, Cairns Hinterland Steiner School does not introduce digital devices during the primary school years.
Instead, an important principle of Steiner education is that young children need to communicate and learn without digital technology. This “unplugged” experience is seen as crucial for children to develop an uncluttered self-image and self-worth.
“Digital technologies are shaping our world, and we want our children to master them, but not be shaped by them,” says Ms. Kristin Doyle, Acting Principal of Cairns Hinterland Steiner School.
“In Steiner education, it is a question of when to introduce digital technologies, and not to avoid them altogether.”
Research shows that more and more children have greater difficulty focusing on educational tasks, have interrupted sleep patterns, lack resilience and have increased mental health issues.
Ms. Doyle explains, “It’s worrying that half of all mental illnesses begin by age 14 with cyber-bullying, screen addiction and social media peer pressure being recognised as playing a major role.”
The Steiner early childhood and primary curriculum are transferable to the digital world, but without the adverse impact that technology can have on children. Once students enter high school, they can embrace digital technologies effectively, creatively, and ethically.
“Our high school students see it as a tool, like a hammer, and recognise that it is a useful tool that can facilitate human creativity but does not replace it,” explains Ms. Doyle.
Cairns Hinterland Steiner School is located in Kuranda and run school tours weekly. Book your tour on our website www.chss.qld.edu.au, or check us out on Facebook and Instagram. Contact the school for more information on 4093 8809 or email firstname.lastname@example.org