There are many initiatives around the globe to change education. Operation Education, MindShift and Disruptors are all pasionated about reinventing the educational system. The change needed can be discribed as learning that is more future-proof and supports innovation and entrepreneurship. More than ever lifelong learning becomes key.
Content can no longer be at the center of education. Teacher’s main job should be to help students develop key skills necessary for when they leave school. Tony Wagner (Harvard edu specialist) discribes seven essential things young people need to be successful as lifelong learners:
– Critical thinking and Problem solving : Formulate good questions;
– Collaborate across networks : Communicate in groups and Lead by Influence;
– Be Agile and Adaptable;
– Take Initiative and be Entrepreneurial;
– Effective Written and Oral Communication Skills;
– Know how to Access and Analyze information;
– Be Curious and Imaginative.
I’m convinced that we need to start focusing on cultivating these skills. If we don’t we will no longer ‘produce’ innovative people who drive job growth. If you ask innovative young people about their experiences in school many of them can’t name one teacher who had impacted them. If they do, the teacher named were outliers in their schools. Their teaching styles and approaches were at odds with the dominant school culture.
Tony Wagner’s research shows that all of these tremendously influential teachers ran classrooms that emphasized interdisciplinary learning, real team collaboration, risk taking, creating learning as opposed to consuming knowledge, and cultivated intrinsic motivation in students. These teachers made room for playful exploration and student passions in the classroom, helping their students to develop the purpose that drives them. It is about time…….if you take learning seriously.