Saturday, 7 November 2015

7 Skills for the Future

Dr Tony Wagner

Crisis in education: Stuck between a rock and a hard place!
The rock - economy based on using your hands has moved to one where we make our money by using our 'skilled' brain.
 - successful career
- ongoing learning
- life of active and informed citizenship

How do we teach and assess these skills?

The hard place - this generation is differently motivated to learn.
How do we motivate this generation to achieve excellence?

The previous educational reform of adapting the testing and a bit more PD is not going to do it! We must rethink teaching and learning for the 21st century.

The World is Flat   - Thomas Friedman

Any job that is based on a routine is being 'off-shored' or automated.

What skills will our kids need to get and keep a job in this new global economy? Are they the same skills people need to be continuous learners and informed citizens?

What do effective companies look for in their employees?

Seven survival skills:
1. Critical thinking and problem solving - continuous improvement - Toyota car builders: build cars, ideas for better building, future cars.

2. Collaboration across networks and leaning by influence - IBM - team work across the globe. As part of a team you need to understand and respect cultural, religious, ethnic etc differences. Lead by influence - the most effective leader is a worker who engages others and ask the right questions.

3. Agility and adaptability - jobs change continuously and we all need to learn new skills as companies are constantly re-structuring. Microsoft & Xerox - require workers to be agile and adaptable.

4. Initiative and entrepreneurialism - CISCO - set goals that challenge you rather than playing it safe. They are looking at how to create a working environment that encourages taking initiative and being adventurous.

5. Effective oral and written communication - they can't write because they fail to analyse and reason. They need to write with 'voice'  by clearly articulating their point of view - persuasive writing!

6. Accessing and analysing information -  effective web search, sort into value of information  - important or trivial.

7. Curiosity and imagination - we are searching for products that show imagination - they stand out from the crowd.

A whole New Mind - Daniel Pink

Economy at the moment:
Our community is based on consuming things they don't need and going into dept. Rather than compulsive consumption - we need to be the country the comes up with more innovative and sustainable ideas.

How do we educate for innovation?
Where does curiosity go as kids get older?

What do we see as we walk through our classes?  (USA)
What evidence is there of critical thinking, problem solving and student independence of learning? The problem is that the leadership is asking them to 'teach to the test'. This does not allow for critical thinking and independence.

Global gap between the skills our kids need to learn and the things that we are testing.
Global Learning Gap - connective, collaborative multi-tasking is happening out of school hours. Kids are waiting to get out of school to continue with the great learning they manage themselves. They are craving coaching and mentoring with teachers that engage them on a mutual ground rather than talking down to them.

What this means to us in class:
1. Hold ourselves accountable for what matters most - attitudes, strategies, characteristics and competencies not numbers! How can we test what matters?

2. Looking for new ways - avoid isolation as this encourages repeating the same thing. Collaboration creates 'peer-based' accountability and change.

Personal Response:

  • I believe in students developing independence in learning so they can talk about their own targets, success and next steps.  Reflect ion is the key to excellence.
  • I work hard to develop with students the strategies that will help them get out of the 'Learning Pit' and be resilient when faced with learning challenges.
  • I believe that daily experiences should be about group work, being creative and finding innovative ways to solve a difficult problem.
The question is - what do you see as you walk through my classroom? What are my kids doing? Are these skills and attitudes being developed or is it something quite different?

My Challenge:
  • Continue to collaborate and be active in Twitter and other communities so I an constantly reflecting on my teaching and looking for better ways to do things.
  • Make a list with the kids of what matters most and put it up in class.
  • Reflect with the kids about where we saw aspects on the list each day.
  • Ask colleagues to visit and look for these things in our class learning.

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