Academy Academy Description ADEK Rating Curricula Location
Al Ain Academy

Primary & Secondary, Mixed

Very Good With Outstanding Features English National Curriculum Al Ain
Al Bateen Academy

Secondary, Mixed

Outstanding English National Curriculum,IB Diploma Programme Abu Dhabi
Al Mamoura Academy

Primary Mixed / Secondary Girls Only

Good With Very Good Features English National Curriculum Abu Dhabi
Al Muna Academy

Primary, Mixed

Outstanding English National Curriculum Abu Dhabi
Al Yasmina Academy

Primary & Secondary, Mixed

Very Good With Outstanding Features English National Curriculum Abu Dhabi
The Pearl Academy

Primary, Mixed

Very Good With Outstanding Features English National Curriculum Abu Dhabi
West Yas Academy

Primary Mixed / Secondary Segregated 

Good American Massachusetts State Curriculum Abu Dhabi
Al Forsan Nursery

Nursery Mixed

Not Applicable English National Curriculum Abu Dhabi
  • 30 Oct, 2018
  • Aldar Academies

Teaching methods are evolving just as rapidly as the industries they serve

Humanity has reached a tipping point for technology and how it influences our interaction with the world around us. We’ve entered a period known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, but unlike those that came before it, this latest revolution emerged gradually. It arrived quietly on the backs of rapidly advancing technologies like quantum computing, robotics, genome engineering, and many others. Yet it’s impact on our entire world will be monumental.

Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum in Geneva, defines the Fourth Industrial Revolution as “a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.” As a result, our ability to solve humanity’s greatest challenges and improve the lives of every living human is multiplying at a phenomenal speed. The breadth of change that will inevitably occur is also vast, and both the public and private sector will share an equally pivotal role in enabling the positive change to flourish.Education providers have one of the most important responsibilities of all.

We are the ones that must prepare the current and next generations to thrive, so they can realise the potential offered by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Just as industries are transforming under the influence of new technologies, education must evolve away from the archaic method of textbook-based knowledge transfer and measurement via examinations to a more relevant approach. As Aldar Academies’ own future-focused teaching methods show, this evolution is already well underway.

Replicating the fourth industrial world

Given the pace of change seen across industries, education providers must lay the foundations for tomorrow’s innovations, today. Alongside teaching the necessary theoretical knowledge, this means shaping students with the most effective method of solving problems. Collaboration between human and machine will be fundamental, because the Fourth Industrial Revolution is not about robots taking jobs. Yes, technology is expected to take five million jobs by 2020, but at the same time, it will elevate the roll of human knowledge to a more sophisticated level. Humans will be responsible for programming and overseeing these robots, while also taking on a variety of jobs that haven’t been invented yet.

Education providers like Aldar Academies have already evolved their teaching methods to replicate this environment for students in preparation for the new ways of working. Project Based Learning (PBL) is one example. Working in groups, PBL allows students to apply theoretical knowledge to solve real-world challenges, yet these challenges stretch across multiple subjects. By removing the silos of individual subjects and instead focusing on a specific challenge, students are more concerned with how their skills and theory can be applied, rather than proving such expertise exists within them.

Outside the classroom, educational events such as the First LEGO League Junior Robotics Competition hone these skills further. Six Aldar Academies teams returned triumphant from the UAE leg of this year’s competition, but the experience will be far more valuable than any awards. Combining creativity, teamwork, critical thinking, and presentation skills, the competition mimicked the type of environment students will enter as tomorrow’s bioengineers and robotic programmers.

Teaching a way of thinking

With the value of human knowledge rising to a new level of sophistication, as I explained above, students will thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution when they master the practical application of theory. Doing so requires a toolkit of intellectual skills that guides them to the most effective decisions, in pursuit of the challenge they need to solve. I explain why creativity and critical thinking are among the most valuable of these intellectual skills in a separate article on page 10 of the latest edition of Aldar Academies magazine, but how is education changing to nurture such abilities?

Aldar Academies, like others, has evolved the classroom to put students in charge of learning, through what’s known as flipped learning. Here, theory is studied independently at home through online platforms, before being applied in-class. In essence, homework becomes classwork, with the teacher acting as a guiding hand rather than a dictator of knowledge. Flipped learning, when combined with PBL, enables students to lead the discovery of new and better ideas, to critique these ideas in groups, and to apply them to problem solving. This is exactly what will be required once their careers begin and our students – now graduates – will find their knowledge augmented by an array of advanced technologies.

With the dawn of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we’ve reached a moment in civilisation where human capabilities are set to change dramatically. Education is the bedrock of these capabilities, and as education providers, we cannot stand still. Our methods must keep pace with the developments in industry and society, so that human knowledge can keep up with the unprecedented speed of technological progress.

These are fascinating times. Watch this documentary, made for the World Economic Forum, to discover more about the changes that are coming.