Solving Global Challenges Using TING Method
Where is humanity heading to? The changing demography of the modern world is undoubtedly one of the most profound changes affecting countries, education systems and workplaces today. In such an emerging, dynamic and complex reality, how can schools and universities prepare students for the next? What subjects should they aim for? What skills would they cultivate? Could part of the solution be in our ability as a society, or as an educational framework, to look at both the collective and the individual as one system? Is it that the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) the core of the solution? Will the students be able to find their field of study in SDG’s and fulfill their goal in the foreseeable future?
In the current article, I reveal my proposal for solving such complex issues and offer a unique method based on experiential play. Through game, students learn about the new world, understand, navigate, ask and maybe even initiate their own ideas and solutions, which may lead to future professions and new forms of activities.
So when was the deck of cards reshuffled without us noticing, and what happened so suddenly that the future is less clear?
Since when the basic definition of the word ‘education’ is no longer taken for granted, whether in terms of goals or methodology? Is it right to feel that it does not matter what we teach our children and in what way, whereas we do not know where they are headed professionally?
In short, I would say that as of today, most students and teachers in most educational institutions are not truly aware of existing types of professions in the global market. At best, students graduate from high-schools knowing only the profession of their parents and their close circle of friends. If students do not know what professions exist today, how would they know what professions are going to be tomorrow as the pace of cutting-edge technology advances in huge strides? And, in general, “What do I as a person want to be when I grow up? What is my conscience order?” …
Once we agreed on the problem, it is clear to everyone that there is a high need for a toolkit to studying and understanding the professions exist around us, as well as those that will be created in the future. Furthermore, if we work to connect these professions and look at them as a source for solving future challenges, we can secure our chances to realize them for many years to come. Even if some will raise an eyebrow considering futuristic questions as such, I am confident that for the majority of you, as confused as you might be, this way of thinking is not foreigh and the future jobs market does not seem to be a user-friendly playground.
These thoughts have formed the foundations for developing an educational program called Ting Global. A value-based program that balances fatal issues in the form of global challenges that face us as a society and as conscious individuals. The same conscious through which they will have to navigate in order to find their future occupation as adults.
The premises that underlay this notion were inspired by the American philosopher and educator John Dewey who consistently argued that education and learning are social and interactive processes, so the school itself is a social Institution in which social reforms should take place. He also believed that students should grow in an environment where they are involved in their curriculum, and that all students should be given the opportunity to take part in their learning – and evolve.
The ability to bridge between the complex global challenges and the individuals at such a young age is based on games and simplifying while using cognitive processes at various levels in accordance with Bloom’s taxonomy. With the faculty’s leadership, students will be exposed to a four-step program that will enable solving complex issues more easily, and help to better understand the systems around them for the present and foreseeable future.
The four stages of the method:
- Intellectual Stimulation
- In-depth and Critical Thinking
- The Spark – a Ting Moment
- Creating an SDG Biased Narrative
Stage 1: Intellectual stimulation
This stage can be a fun game or a real problem that needs solving, whether you are a young student or an adult. Through guidance and focus, the student will be able to reveal and share personal interests with their friends, and maybe even find collaborators in the process. This phase is mainly based on the initial cognitive skills, memorizing and remembering, and is influenced quite a lot by the environment and lifestyle the individual has been exposed to until today.
Stage 2: In-depth and Critical Thinking
This stage is a direct outcome of stimulation level, meaning, the more significant the joy of playing or the frustration from facing a core problem becomes, the desire to understand and experience will grow. Moreover, once we grasp the importance of a meaningful insight in fields of interest, there will be a true will to keep investigating their essence and boundaries. For this the student must comprehend, classify, describe and explain different levels and interfaces of 3 fields of interests and gradually evolve from a person with interest to a person with knowledge – knowledge that is naturally acquired by asking broad, open and in-depth questions and by the attempt to give them answers. At this stage the student will be asked to briefly state and define their fields of knowledge on top of a Ting diagram (fig1).
The way of processing information and forming thinking is innovative and unique as part of ting method. This is due to the fact people are capable of identifying patterns according to needs and 3 is the smallest number of elements required to create a system for new ideas, technologies and field studies. Between A and B a line can be drawn. Between A, B and C a space can be created. A creative idea (that improves current state) evolves by connecting 2 dots. A new field of studies or an innovative idea (that goes against conventions) evolves within the space that is created between the connected 3 dots.
Stage 3: The spark – Ting moment
Once each of the 3 fields of interests was placed in the chart/sketch, the complexity increases and analytical thinking is required in order to separate,compare and study the possible links between the chosen 3 fields (and their space created).
From this stage, the path to the famous Ting moment, a moment that is similar to a lit up bulb, when you know 1+1+1 = innovation, will take no time to come.
It’s important to state that innovative and creative thinking does not belong to the inventors and artists only, and they can be applied to any situation involving new uses of familiar materials. Famous researchers such as Torrense, De-Bono and Martindale researched and found that creativity is not a spark, but a mental muscle that can be strengthened with time. As such, it is important and possible to ‘use’ it in the educational system as well, since when combined with planning, rational thinking, professionalism and knowledge – the system will provide with optimal results. On a practical level, the most minor thoughts have the biggest impact.
Only after examining what interests each person, what did they dream of and what motivates them, only then we will be able to draw a better image of the reality, create order, link dots and put the pieces together in ways we failed to do before. By having a better perspective, we can invent multi-disciplinary ideas and focus more efficiently on the complex reality we live in.
In order to simplify this cognitive stage TING developed a language based on notes and signs. Assuming communication is the key to saving lives, a new form of communication could be the key to open a new door to a completely new reality, with the desire to overcome international language and cultural barriers in favour of universal innovation, thus can be shaped by people living in different countries, speaking different languages, holding different way of thinking.
despite our high ability to express our thoughts verbally and accurately, the need of ideographs is well known. Have you encountered an academic institution, a business firm or governmental, without a logo? The human brain thinks and see, therefore it’s much easier to embed visual during the imaginary process that is going in our brain when initiating creative ideas. By ideographs that symbolize new tools, advanced technologies and relevant topics, and the combinations triggered between the symbols, we could achieve influential impact as these will inspire others to raise new challenges to be solved.
Stage 4: Creating an SDG Biased Narrative
This stage is the most challenging cognitively, and its purpose is to be a primal transformation of the multi-disciplinary knowledge that was individually revealed a stage earlier (in the Ting Moment) in order to solve one of the global future goals. For that we need to create, design, connect and develop a narrative that is being unraveled between our individual moral and one of the SDG’s. It is a very complex mission in a way that enables to see in these goals not only deal-breakers but also an opportunity to sustainably grow and evolve.
What do you want to be when you grow up?Let’s create your future!
The first step to creating the future is to define it.
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This article was first published in mop.education