A well rounded individual describes a person who has varied interests. For a student, whose full time occupation is studying, being well rounded means having interests outside of pure academic work. These ‘outside’ interests could be anything from sports to the arts, or coding to social work.
On a more ‘lofty’ level, a well rounded individual could also refer to a person who has strong core values; someone in possession of a wide array of skills and knowledge who could tackle any challenge thrown in his or her path.
In the old days, it used to be enough for one to be quick with calculations or good at recalling facts. With the advent of the digital age, where knowledge is instantly accessible at the click of a button, developing higher-order skills – being creative, thinking on one’s feet, adapting quickly to changes, etc. – has become critical for success.
The point is this: the end objective of cultivating well rounded individuals is clearly a step in the right direction, but is the ALs system the remedy we’re in need of? To address this question, we’ll need to look at the motivations of the two key players on this stage – students and their parents.