Every day we need to communicate clearly and get our message across – and we often need to prove important points and make structured arguments. This is essential both at school and at home and, later in life, at work. The ability to discuss and negotiate makes life much easier for us and for those around us. And most importantly, it allows us to expand our views and in the process create something new. Furthermore, an inability to express ourselves will lead to misunderstandings and arguments – and as a result everyone will simply stick to his opinion and never move on. It is vital for us to learn to ask questions and find answers, to work as a team – to assert our own position, but nonetheless take into account the opinions of others.
A great example of practicing these communication skills came when our Primary School students in the IB PYP program worked on a fascinating theme: “Where we are in place and time” Divided into teams, they discussed the topic, seeking answers backed up with concrete examples of human migration: its causes, influences, consequences, and challenges. After each team had agreed on its position, the teams presented their conclusions in open debate, presenting and defending their different views.
The project was important and useful on two levels. First, the students researched and learned a lot about a challenging topic. Second, they developed new skill sets that will definitely serve them well in their future studies – and later on in life and work.