An essential component of this is asking good questions. Students are so concerned with getting the right answer and not understanding that the answer isn't the answer, the explanation is the answer. Students are so much more valuable when you can justify your answers and words are powerful. Being a critical thinker is an invaluable tool. In addition, the ability to ask good questions is invaluable in the real world.
2: Collaboration Across Networks and Leading By Influence:
I've heard an educator describe current students as "passive learners", meaning students expect to just have the information and the answers given to them verse working for it. They need more collaboration to spark their learning. In collaboration students work together towards an intersection of common goals by sharing knowledge, learning and building consensus. Collaboration involves students working together in order to produce or create something. Teaching collaboration and leadership can be effectively done through group work. Students learn best when they are active. In group work, students can discuss their thinking, bounce ideas off one another and solidify their understanding of topics through discussion.
3. Agility and Adaptability:
Children are very impressionable and that is why our job as educators is so important. Students all have the ability and willingness to learn from experiences and apply that new knowledge to various situations and they have an uncanny ability to adapt to change. Students' ability to adapt is of greater importance than the knowledge of expertise. Technology, careers and the world are constantly evolving and changing, so students must posses the ability to adapt and be flexible.
4. Initiative and Entrepreneurialism:
Students must have the ability to turn their ideas into action. They can accomplish this through creativity, innovation and risk-taking, as well as the ability to plan and manage in order to achieve their goals. The world needs proactive people who are self-starters.
5. Effective Oral and Written Communication:
Effective oral and written communication is being able to communicate one’s thoughts clearly and concisely, but also being able to create focus, energy, and passion. In order to address this, teachers should let their students explain themselves through speeches, written support and group work. A great strategy is to implement think, pair, share which is something that allows students to think about the posed question, partner with someone and discuss their thinking and share out their thoughts. This strategy is a quick and efficient way to get your students to orally share their thoughts as well as practice their listening skills. A way to work on this in math is to have students write out their answers in a complete sentence, explaining what their answer means.
6. Accessing and Analyzing Information:
With many academic and job settings relying on internet access, it is important for a student to know how to find the answer to a question rather than the answer itself. This skill involves not only gathering information on a certain topic or concept, but also having the ability to analyze the quality of that information. (i.e. wikipedia verse a certified journal). It is also important that students possess the ability to use information from a variety of credible sources: web pages, magazines, podcasts, TV, face to face interviews and discussions, surveys, books.
7. Curiosity and Imagination
Curiosity is the students' desire to know or learn and explore their curiosity and imagination through many avenues. Like adaptability, curiosity and imagination come naturally to children so we should foster it and not stifle it.
Where is the math? When Wagner discusses testing, he discusses that employers "appear to place comparatively little value on content knowledge in either math or science as a prerequisite for work today" (Wagner p.91). As a math teacher, I will always think that math is important for children and I strive to make connections with our lessons daily. I even have a student every day that keeps me on my toes and asks, "and how does this relate to real life?". Students are required to pass a math exam in order to graduate from high school, yet many students never use math again in college and/or their careers. We have to ensure that math is relevant to children's development of the 7 survival skills. There's a disconnect and it makes my wonder if children are being taught to solve problems, recognize patterns and as an alternative way of thinking (this is how I do it!) or if many teachers are just teaching math as something they have to do and just get through with little to no relevance to their lives outside of class.