Innovation will inspire children, Dubai educators told

The Knowledge of Human Development Authority (KHDA) hosted the ‘What Works Makers’ event on Monday at the Emirates Aviation University to allow educators to discuss teaching methods with one another and ways to inspire children.

John Kao, an innovation thought leader, practitioner and activist based out of San Francisco, speaks at What Works Makers, an event hosted by KHDA at Emirates Aviation University in Dubai. Sarah Dea / The National
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DUBAI // More than 600 teachers and staff from private schools took part in a workshop yesterday that focused on using innovation to create something out of nothing.

The Knowledge of Human Development Authority (KHDA) hosted the “What Works Makers” event at the Emirates Aviation University to allow educators to discuss teaching methods and ways to inspire children.

John Kao, founder of the EdgeMakers youth organisation, said: “One of the great things about being a kid is that you don’t necessarily have to know what you’re going to do in life and, therefore, the role of parents is to encourage the interests that emerge naturally. It is not clear how these early interests will affect the later trajectory of their careers.

“Dubai’s Ruler [Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid] is big on innovation. I say if you want innovation you have to have people who know how to do innovation,” said Mr Kao. “To get those people, you have to help them learn.”

Dr Abdulla Al Karam, director general of KHDA, said that it was imperative that children were happy in order to be creative and innovative.

“Happiness has to come first and leads to productivity in school. Happy kids do not call in sick, and happy kids do not skip class,” he said. “We can’t think like 50 years ago, and we need to remove certain pressure points and let kids be kids.”

dmoukhallati@thenational.ae