Have You Got Ikiru Chikara?

Do we teach our children the ability to grow and adapt?

The concept of growing and adapting or Ikiru Chikara is emphasised in the Curriculum Guidelines for Elementary Schools set by Japan’s education ministry.

Ikiru Chikara literally means “power to live”, but is also translated as “zest for living” which involves not only the cultivation of richness of mind, but also the enhancement of moral consciousness and physical strength.

Ikiru Chikara is also seen as the ability to survive in a changing society and the ability for sustaining one’s existence. It’s the Japanese version of 21st Century Skills.

But do we have an equivalent concept in the UK? Do we see children with a ‘zest for living’? Do we teach children Ikiru Chikara and the ability to adapt to social changes? Are we getting children to learn for themselves, to be self-motivated and to be problem-solvers?

Having the strength and health to live energetically and to be self-controlled and self-sufficient isn’t necessarily what children are getting from a system that ‘gives’. It is vital we provide opportunities for children to develop sound minds and can think and act independently so they are prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

At the moment, all we have is plenty of snowflakes and not enough competencies for positive living.

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