Giving Kids A Toolkit For Their Future

From Real Learning CT

We are hearing the same thing from so many people in the know. Tom Friedman, who writes in Thank You For Being Late about how work will change in the future due to advanced technology and increased use of artificial intelligence, says it.  Tony Wagner, professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and author of The Global Achievement Gap in which he identifies the skills students need to survive in that future world of work, says it. The September 27, 2017 issue of Ed Week, which talks about how K-12 education needs to change, says it. They all loudly and clearly proclaim the same thing:  The education we now provide will not serve our students in the future because the needs of the future are not the needs of the past, and schools are currently meeting the demands of the past.

So what is a teacher to do? What is a school district to do? What are parents to do?

It would be great for us as a society to engage in a deep conversation about the nature of learning and how to assess that learning. I am ready for that conversation and know other educators who also long for it. In the meantime, here are three practical suggestions that teachers and school districts can implement immediately:

  1. Teach students to question.
  2.  Teach students to write essays that explore questions of importance to them.
  3.  Teach students to write essays about how they came to know what they know.

By focusing on these suggestions, students will gain the Seven Survival Skills for the future that Tony Wagner says are necessary: critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration, agility and adaptability, initiative, effective oral and written communication, accessing and analyzing information, and, most of all, curiosity and imagination. Students will also be ready to succeed in the rapidly changing world Friedman describes.  Most of all, students will be doing what writers in Ed Week say is absolutely necessary for the future which we can barely envision – develop as learners and thinkers.

Read more here.

Reading Kingdom will help prepare your child for the future with essential reading skills.  Sign up today for a free 30 day trial.