How to combat the lack of young leaders in Mexico?

It is no secret that we are last on issues of educational lag, but not everything is lost, here we tell you three very useful tips to form small leaders at home.

6 min read

The opinions expressed by employees are personal.

How to combat the lack of young leaders in Mexico?
How to combat the lack of young leaders in Mexico?

Every three years, the International Student Assessment Program ( PISA ) is carried out in 79 countries, where 600 15-year-old students are qualified in the areas of reading, math and science. In the 2018 test, whose results were published this month , it was shown that 99% of Mexican students are lagging in education, which leaves them poorly trained to be leaders, since only 1% are able to understand a text long and complex, while the rest only memorize concepts to pass exams.

Mexico obtained the lowest average score of the countries that belong to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) , but beyond alarming us, the important thing is to accept that education has to evolve and stop educating everyone the same, If we want to train leaders, young students are needed who think differently and propose solutions for the problems of the future.

Our students need interest in learning, it is urgent to involve them in activities that stimulate them, teach them to be more independent and curious. It is not enough that they know the theory, they have to be questioned and motivated with technological resources, games and challenges, where freedom of thought and creative capacity are celebrated, basic elements in the formation of critical leaders.

It is urgent that they learn the importance of creating networks and collaborating with others, only then will they know how to identify their talents and strengths to generate solutions. Let the children get dirty so they understand what is under the earth and most importantly: let them be wrong and see their failures as part of the learning path. Tomorrow's leaders will not be those who never fail, but those capable of failing to get up.

Here I explain three educational elements that schools and parents should encourage in order to train independent and creative children, who become capable leaders in the future:

1. Promote the love of reading: instead of telling them what to read, you have to motivate them to read about the topic they like best. In addition to reading, invite them to share the most exciting moments in history, what they liked most, that they shared their own conclusions, what could have gone wrong, what they would have done differently, what they found interesting or successful. This way they will learn to analyze and understand the book, they will be able to expose, give order to their ideas, share and learn about new topics of interest through literature. Reading is a fundamental tool to start developing critical thinking and understanding the world.

2. Do not instill fear of mathematics: beyond how mathematics is taught, to change the “memorize” to “reason”, let the children question and verify what they are for. This exercise, as simple as it may seem, will help you find a practical sense of mathematics. For example: how many inhabitants are in your city, how many are men or women, how old are they, what will be the probability that your team will go to the finals, what are the measures for a recipe, how to get a budget if you want to save to buy a game or even know about metrics to understand musical notes, if what they love is playing an instrument or singing.

3. Teach about science: Mexicans use science constantly and without realizing it, but if it was done consciously and with a better application for our environment, we would have better results. With science we can promote experiments as simple as making your own slime, or as complex as a robot that helps mom at home or an instrument to observe the stars. Science will help us solve the problems of the future and find alternatives to intelligently care for the world. Children who believe that this knowledge is useless are not able to see beyond an exam and see the world of possibilities that this denotes.

We must stop pressuring children to memorize data and start making sense of their learning, stop educating to pass exams and really teach concepts and ideas that work for daily life, for example:

  • Experimentation: trial and error.

  • Share: between colleagues with the same abilities, but also with those who are totally opposite, only in this way does it add up.

  • Challenge them: overcome obstacles to reach higher levels every time.

  • Encourage creation, even without having defined the final project.

  • Find alternatives to transform how things work today.

  • Let them solve problems with the tools they have.

You can not be a leader without enthusiasm, it is essential to excite children, whether doing collaborative activities, giving voice to their thoughts, researching, sharing, and putting into practice their ideas.

In this way they will find a purpose for what they discover and appropriate the result for which they worked, they will even defend it if necessary, in addition, they will learn to debate with justified arguments.

It is the long-term learning that is the only one that develops the skills they need for the future, what they call “learning for life” is what teaches them to think for themselves, to create, to be social conscious and entrepreneurs.

In Mexico we have everything to be a creative power, you just have to direct it properly so that it stops being just the benefit of a few and begins to generate opportunities for everyone. We are creative by nature, if we manage to encourage that natural curiosity with which a student enters primary school we can directly impact his intellectual and emotional development in the future.

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