Blog Featured citizensschool Jun 27, 2024

Reimagining Education: From Students to Learners at Citizens School  

Hi Everyone ! Welcome to my blog, delving into the future of education and specifically the distinction between students and learners and how at Citizens School Dubai we intentionally do things differently and are at the forefront of this educational revolution. 

Let’s start by defining our terms. What is the difference between a student and a learner? 

A student is often seen as someone who attends classes, completes assignments, and passes exams. They follow a structured curriculum designed to impart a fixed body of knowledge. 

A learner, on the other hand, goes beyond this. A learner is someone who actively engages with the material, seeks out new knowledge, and applies what they have learned in real-world situations. Learners are curious, adaptable, and self-motivated. 

Learners are motivated by an intrinsic desire to learn, to grow, to discover. Students do what they are told when they are told (mostly!) 

Learners strive and often have a number of ‘messy’ attempts, failures and hit deadends that cause them to re-evaluate, think critically and problem solve, that then leads them to greater insights. Students on the other hand strive for perfection. 

Learners chafe at overly restrictive directions. They revel in the fuzzy boundaries and uncharted territory. Students minimize risks by following directions. The clearer the directions, the better. 

The learner sees mastery as a continual and deepening practice, with mastery an elusive but worthwhile pursuit. The student associate’s mastery with passing the test. 

The Need for Learners in Today’s World: 

The world we live in today is characterised by rapid technological advancements and ever-evolving industries. According to studies, the technical knowledge we gain today has an increasingly short half-life. This means that much of what students learn in traditional settings becomes obsolete quickly. 

In this dynamic environment, it is not enough to simply know; one must learn how to learn, unlearn, and relearn. The world demands quick adaptation and creative problem-solving. Known answers are in short supply, and the ability to think critically and innovate is paramount. 

At Citizens School , we recognize that each child is unique, with their own strengths, interests, and learning styles. Our personalised learning paths allow students to explore subjects that intrigue them and link to the passions they pursue. 

Our curriculum integrates the latest technological tools and innovative teaching methods. This not only keeps our learners up to date with current trends but also prepares them for future technological advancements. 

We encourage a growth mindset in our learners, fostering resilience and a love for continuous learning. Mistakes are seen as opportunities for growth, and challenges are embraced as part of the learning journey. 

We are creating a school culture in which being a learner is more valuable than being a student. We engage and facilitate ways for learners to learn anyplace anytime and remove the concept that you only learn in a classroom environment. 

At Citizens we achieve this by active collaboration and feedback from others, designing learning experiences based on our learner’s passions and interests.  

So, as we move further into the 21st century, the demand for learners, not just students, is more critical than ever. Citizens School Dubai is not just preparing students for exams; we are cultivating learners who will thrive in an ever-changing world. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this. 

By David Lees
Head of Secondary – Vice Principal