Below is an excerpt of an interesting article on preparing our students for the future. What really struck me about the author’s proposed skills was the development of character. In my previous reading about 21st century skills, this is the first time an author talked about the need to “develop a full range of qualities, many of which are related to character. Schools should create experiences for students in and out of school that will enable them to develop the full range of habits, values, ethical commitments, skills, and knowledge they need.”
A shared conception among the faculty of what a prepared student looks like would take into account the following:
▪ What it means to do the right thing when no one is watching.
▪ What deep learning is and how to produce and assess it.
▪ What it means to work independently against deadlines and meet them with high standards of quality.
▪ How to know when a student is a strong contributor as a team member.
▪ How the school will structure opportunities for leadership so all students get a chance to lead.
Some people call these 21st century skills. But most of these skills were valued by the ancient Greeks and all of them by the masters of the British Empire. We used to think that ordinary workers didn’t need them, so they were only taught to the elites. But now, given the skills we need, we must treat all our students as elites.