Four absolutely necessary skills and five vital ‘soft skills’

A A Juliani published a paper yesterday entitled ‘21st Century Skills Have Always Been “Needed” Skills, But Now We Need Them More Than Ever’. He points out that these vital skills are not the focus of standardised testing yet so many educational decisions lie on the results of these tests.  He points out that : If schools are meant to prepare students for the real world. Then why doesn’t school look more like the real world?”

These are the skills we focus on at Broughton when many of our classes, both Primary and Secondary, take part in units of work using Guided Inquiry.

However, A A Juliani goes on to discuss the work of Seth Godin

Let’s Stop Calling Them Soft Skills“, in which he describes five categories of skills that we all look for in colleagues, employees, and students–yet, don’t seem to value over other content and standardized skills.

The five skills Seth describes (from http://ajjuliani.com/are-we-waiting-too-long-to-give-students-a-choice-in-their-learning/) are:

Self Control — Once you’ve decided that something is important, are you able to persist in doing it, without letting distractions or bad habits get in the way? Doing things for the long run that you might not feel like doing in the short run.

Productivity — Are you skilled with your instrument? Are you able to use your insights and your commitment to actually move things forward? Getting non-vocational tasks done.

Wisdom — Have you learned things that are difficult to glean from a textbook or a manual? Experience is how we become adults.

Perception — Do you have the experience and the practice to see the world clearly? Seeing things before others have to point them out.

Influence — Have you developed the skills needed to persuade others to take action? Charisma is just one form of this skill.

There is plenty of food for thought here as we plan another year of activities and learning experiences for the children in our care. The content is not all we must teach!

 

Teach for the whole brain

Half-Brain Teaching Isn’t Enough Infographic

“In today’s societies there is a lot of focus on the logical and analytical brain functions. Many schools are cutting the ‘extras’ like art and music. However, students need to be well rounded and really need subjects like those to be considered more than ‘extra’, and while there are many people fighting to keep these programs in schools, the international economy and jobs outlook is demanding more focus on STEM.”

Why Half-Brain Teaching Isn't Enough Infographic
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

The more you use your brain the more it grows

The Learning Myth: Why I’ll Never Tell My Son He’s Smart by Salman Kahn from the Kahn Academy looks at ways to ‘grow our intelligence’. With such easy access to resources and activities the potential is there to grow our ‘mindset’.

Researchers have known for some time that the brain is like a muscle; that the more you use it, the more it grows. They’ve found that neural connections form and deepen most when we make mistakes doing difficult tasks rather than repeatedly having success with easy ones.

Every kid needs a Champion – Rita Pierson

A ‘must watch’ inspiring TED talk for teachers.

Rita Pierson, a teacher for 40 years, once heard a colleague say, “They don’t pay me to like the kids.” Her response: “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.’” A rousing call to educators to believe in their students and actually connect with them on a real, human, personal level.

How technology brings change to learning

In his post on Mindshift entitled How Technology Trends Have Influenced the Classroom, Carl Hooker outlines the many changes taking place in both society as well as technology that mean that learning and teaching methods have to change – and are changing.

As educators, it’s our job to make sure that students (and adults) are learning. Part of that process isn’t only about making an engaging activity or lesson, but also realizing how the modern brain learns.

For each of the headings below he outlines the classroom outcomes for these changes.

The Increase of Interactivity
On-Demand Living
Self-Publishing the World As We See It
Everything is Mobile (and Instant)
Embracing the Digital Brain

Tech_Ed

Project Based Learning

At Broughton we have been using the Guided Inquiry approach to research for a number of years. Project Based Learning (PBL) uses many of the same elements with similar goals.
This video by the Buck Institute for Education explains how learning can be relevant and interesting and is far removed from the Industrial Age model of education in previous centuries.
Collaboration in teams and shared knowledge make the ‘project’ relevant to each student.

Integration of Technology into learning

Terry Heick (Director at TeachThought)discusses what he sees as four stages of integrating technology in learning.

As our school moves across into BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) it will be interesting to see how long it takes before we see an erosion of traditional classroom and curriculum taking place. Deliberating about and managing change is a daily facet of teaching.

This is how Terry Deick describes the last two stages of change in the learning process:

Stage 3: Mobile technology erodes traditional classroom. Truly mobile learners should disrupt non-flexible curriculum.

Mobile learning experiences are inherently unpredictable, requiring varied communication, critical thinking, and aggressive resourcefulness. Standards-based academic work struggles for gravity working against this stage of technology integration.

Stage 4: This final stage of technology implementation necessitates learners to consistently self-direct critical, core components of learning experiences.

Self-direction based on curiosity and play while supported by personalized learning algorithms and the connectivity of authentic networks characterizes this final stage of technology integration. Traditional classroom learning is fully disrupted.

LearningProcess

Sir Ken Robinson – TED talks education

Sir Ken Robinson outlines 3 principles crucial for the human mind to flourish — and how current education culture works against them. In a funny, stirring talk he tells us how to get out of the educational “death valley” we now face, and how to nurture our youngest generations with a climate of possibility.

Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we’re educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence.