A major focus at RWA and in education in Dubai more broadly is the drive for increased innovation in education. “Innovation is the generation of new and creative ideas and the use of new or improved approaches” (KHDA, 2015). At RWA we drive innovation in many different forms, including integrating technology into our teaching and learning, including the use of online learning spaces to engage with students and schools from around the world. We also try to ensure that our students have authentic learning experiences which are connected to real world experiences such as our Gardening Project in KG, the PYP Exhibition in Grade 5 and our E-Team from across the school.
We also focus on developing key 21st century skills to prepare our students for what the future may bring. These key skills are learning skills including critical thinking, creative thinking, collaborating and communicating. We focus on developing key 21st century literacy skills including information literacy, media literacy and technology literacy. Finally we also focus on the development of key 21st century life skills including flexibility, initiative, social skills, productivity and leadership.
While these skills have always been important for students, they are particularly important in our information-based economy. When most workers held jobs in industry, the key skills were knowing a trade, following directions, getting along with others, working hard, and being professional—efficient, prompt, honest, and fair. While students still need these skills, to hold information-age jobs, students also need to think deeply about issues, solve problems creatively, work in teams, communicate clearly in many media, learn ever-changing technologies, and deal with a flood of information. The rapid changes in our world require students to be flexible, to take the initiative and lead when necessary, and to produce something new and useful, all things that we try to promote and develop in our students.