5 Real-World Issues to Teach Children About Raising Global Awareness

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If you’ve had the chance to listen to industry or government executives speak in recent months, you’re likely to have heard one of them use the increasingly popular acronym “Luca,” which stands for Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous, to describe today’s environment. Whether cliched or not, that is an accurate description of the type of global world in which your child will need to participate and prosper as an adult, an environment in which change is advancing at a far faster rate than ever before from one generation to the next.

Young people’s top concerns will be critical in establishing the agenda for and defining this future, resulting in a new world order with a plethora of new ideas, professions, and life options. At SCC, we’re dedicated to introducing our children to these challenges at a young age, even getting them to learn more about working professionals whose occupations put them at the forefront of all of these significant new global shifts, such as marine biologists or artificial intelligence experts.

Here’s an example of the kind of critical thinking and questioning we wish to encourage. And if you’re wondering what these important real-world challenges are, go no further than the following five:


1. Sustainability and Climate Change

Climate change and ecological catastrophe have irreparably ruined the Earth, making it unsuitable to humanity. This is no longer a distant potential, but a very real possibility that might manifest in the lifetimes of today’s children. Your child is growing up in a time when he or she can no longer rest easy in the knowledge that “somewhere” wildlife is still thriving but must confront the unpleasant reality that, as a result of decades of systemic environmental exploitation and abuse by previous generations, many of the fascinating animals they see in picture books or at the zoo will be extinct by the time their children are born. Climate change and global warming are disrupting weather patterns, resulting in increasingly frequent and unexpected natural disasters such as floods, landslides, and cyclones that may wreak havoc on cities, destroying homes and livelihoods. The urgency of the climate change issue has galvanized teenagers all over the world, probably best demonstrated by Greta Thunberg, a 17-year-old Swedish campaigner.

2. The Digitalisation Wave and Emerging Technologies

The nature of employment is also fast evolving across all sectors of the economy, fueled by a growing knowledge of and desire to digitalize old processes as well as use upcoming technologies like artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. To be best positioned to ride the digitalization wave, your child will need a thorough awareness of the technologies in use and what they mean for his or her chosen professional path.

Artificial intelligence, for example, has the potential to automate certain medical operations such as diagnosis, freeing up medical practitioners to focus on higher-value duties. The topic of what these value-added jobs will be is still being worked out, and as industries shift toward a new digital world, your child will need to be aware of these new changes.

3. Gender Equality and Rights

For many years, gender equality has been a major social concern. However, the debate has shifted significantly from simply getting more women into the workforce in the post-World War Two years to addressing more insidious and difficult-to-talk-about sexist attitudes, ranging from workplace misogyny to outright sexual assault, as well as pushing for more equal representation in certain industries.

Whatever your feelings on the #MeToo movement, it has proven to be a worldwide force that has exposed how widespread sexist beliefs are and how detrimental they can be for both young men and women. For this generation of digital natives, distorted and sexist narratives can now spread like wildfire through the Internet and social media, and parents and educators have a critical role to play in ensuring that the improper views or attitudes do not linger with children.

4. Increasing societal polarisation and xenophobia

The last presidential election in the United States, probably the most polarising in history, is a sign of the times, demonstrating how even one of the world’s most industrialized countries can be so divided along racial, social, and economic faultlines. Your child will need to be aware of and sensitive to the enormous pressures that most societies across the world are under, as certain segments of the population push back against the negative consequences of fast globalization and digitalization. This is especially crucial in Singapore, a cosmopolitan immigrant culture that cannot afford to wall itself off from the rest of the globe, especially as it deals with an aging population that may be left behind.

5. Mental Illness

Among other things, the COVID-19 epidemic has raised awareness of mental health issues among workers and students, which were previously either casually neglected or unfairly stigmatized by society. Although big shifts in attitudes will take time, your child will be part of a generation that has a true potential to create and experience that transition as future employers and decision-makers. How will they advocate for more workplace tolerance and empathy, as well as regulations that provide a safe environment for those dealing with mental health issues without exposing them to unwanted scrutiny and bias?


Developing Future-Ready Critical and Empathetic Thinkers

Raising your child’s knowledge of global issues from an early age is a great method to help them prepare for the future. They will be better able to take advantage of these opportunities if they learn to critically explore these concerns early on. At SCC, we believe in educating our students not only for success in the classroom but also for a future in which young people’s concerns will affect the global debate. Watch what happens when our students, who have been taught critical thinking skills and are well-versed in a variety of global topics, question and debate industry professionals who have dedicated their lives to changing the world for the better.