Traditional models of education often focused on seeing people as empty receptacles, waiting for the knowledge to be poured in. This approach suited the industrial age where jobs were more defined and required repetitive execution of skill or a reasonably stable set of knowledge. Today, tasks that involve repetitive predictability even in professional areas such as law and health are increasingly being replaced by artificial intelligence. Valuing and nurturing the thinking and creative capacity of young people shifts the learning to one of ‘growing with’ rather than ‘doing to’. In this approach there is considerable space given to young people’s voice and imagination and the nurturing of a ‘can do’ attitude.
There are many instances around the world where school age children have prompted global attention to be shifted. One notable example is Malala Yousafzai, a young Pakistani woman who stood up against the Taliban in her advocacy for female education. Growing with young people nurtures a sense of responsibility and supports the growth of decision-making including those that fall within the ethical domain. Exploration of the stories of the Bible provides space for young people to connect with timeless wisdom and develop centring values that will guide their decision making in a rapidly evolving world. Listening to young people, encouraging their strong sense of social justice, nurturing a sense of efficacy invigorates and opens the door to possibility. Together we see the world in a new fresh, creative and optimistic way.