As I continue this series on what needs to change in education, I am going to introduce you to some key figures -- pioneers, you might say -- in demonstrating where the education system fails to prepare students for the realities of the contemporary workplace and society. While I may not agree with every single one of their conclusions and recommendations, the work of each one is worthy of consideration.
Dr. Tony Wagner
Tony Wagner is on the faculty of Harvard University and is the author of several important books on the present education crisis and how to get out of it. Among those books are The Global Education Crisis, Creating Innovators, and Most Likely to Succeed. Several years ago, Dr. Wagner interviewed business leaders and other important figures in industry, and he identified Seven Survival Skills, soft skills that are essential in the contemporary workplace but that are not tied to specific curriculum such as mathematics or literature or science or history. Watch the video below as he describes what employers need from their employees, and ask yourself if you learned those things in your classes as a youngster:
You can learn more about Tony Wagner and the 7 Survival Skills, listed below, at his own website:
1 CRITICAL THINKING AND PROBLEM SOLVING
2 COLLABORATION ACROSS NETWORKS AND LEADING BY INFLUENCE
3 AGILITY AND ADAPTABILITY
4 INITIATIVE AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP
5 EFFECTIVE ORAL AND WRITTEN COMMUNICATION
6 ACCESSING AND ANALYZING INFORMATION
7 CURIOSITY AND IMAGINATION
Post your reflections in the comments below!