Future Smart Parent Podcast
Neuro development and the 21st century child -
with Dr Beulah van der Westhuizen
Today I spoke with Dr Beulah van der Westhuizen, who is a specialist in neuro-development, education and the founder of EduExcellence.
In this episode, we discussed the education system, and where traditional schooling stems from and how it functions. The institutionalisation of schooling first appeared during the Industrial Revolution, when children needed to be somewhere while their parents were working in factories. School became a place to train children for their future working in factories, following rules and training their minds and bodies to a 9-5 structure.
We discussed how this traditional model doesn’t apply to 21st century children. Our world has changed! We’re in a new era of technology, and of information, an era that is constantly evolving. And so shouldn’t schooling and education evolve too?
Mainstream school didn’t work for either of my children, but it was only during COVID that we took the opportunity to move away from traditional school.
Something interesting that came up in my discussion with Dr. Beulah is that we have to treat each child as an individual and try to find the form and structure of learning that stimulates and encourages them as individuals. Some children shine in mainstream school – enjoying sports, competition and community. But not every child will thrive in such an environment.
We also talked about neurodiversity. There are different types of intelligence, different ways of taking in and processing information, different sensory processes. If we can understand our kids and their diversity, we can nurture their neuro-processing and allow them to come out of their shells. There is no “one-size fits all” approach when it comes to schooling.
Enjoy listening to our conversation, which challenges our ideas around education and offers alternative approaches we have for educating our children. Let’s learn how to bring out the best in each of our children!
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