Teaching children skills for current business world

In the Classroom
Posted at 3:24 PM, May 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-16 23:56:52-04

The corporate world is changing. Business leaders are now taught to communicate a shared purpose with their employees instead of top-down rules. There is a growing value put on collaboration over competition. 

Dr. Laura Jana the Director of Innovation at UNMC College of Public Health. She recently wrote the book, "The Toddler Brain." It focuses on seven QI skills for teaching children. They are meant to be simple and easily understood. They are: me, we, why, will, wigggle, wobble and what if. 


She says there needs to be a focus on emotional intelligence instead of simply IQ. 

Dr. Jana says this about the "we" skill, "those are people skills: empathy, perspective-taking, relationships, communication, teamwork, as soon as you start thinking of the list, it becomes really obvious. In early childhood terms, it's put your listening ears on, use your words, learn to play nice with others in the same sandbox." 

"Wiggle" is meant to encourage and channel the energy of children who perhaps in the past were reprimanded for having "ants in their pants." 

"If you read the business innovation literature, innovators almost universally don't sit still, fidgety, we use words in the business world like on-the-go, go-getter, reach for the stars, movers and shakers. They're all active words," Dr. Jana says. 

Theresa Thibodeau owns Primrose School of La Vista which is an early learning center. "We are different because we focus on education as young as six weeks," says Thibodeau. 
They teach babies, toddlers and preschoolers to interact, communicate and move. She agrees with the philosophy of teaching emotional intelligence along with academics. She hopes children leave her school with a love of learning. She describes that as a lifetime skill. 
"My passion lies in watching these curious minds figure out something, figure out a concept and then they just glow, and those are the best parts of my days, watching a child learn something new."
Dr. Jana also hopes people consider how to help children who may not have the parents or caregivers who value these skills. She says it's a reminder of how we can help children as mentors, teachers, coaches, foster parents and more.