Global Achievement Gap, Part One

In Tony Wagner’s book Global Achievement Gap (2008), Wagner argues that there is a gap in American education between what the best schools are teaching and what students really need to learn in order to succeed in the 21st century. In chapter one, he outlines the seven survival skills employers look for in the 21st century that schools should be teaching. They are…

1. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

2. Collaboration

3. Agility and Adaptability

4. Initiative and Entrepreneurialism

5. Effective Oral and Written Communication

6. Accessing and Analyzing Information

7. Curiousity and Imagination

As I was reading the descriptions of each of these traits, I couldn’t help but think of lots of examples I’ve seen or heard from my colleagues which I would classify as encouraging these traits. So rather than starting the discussion with the ways in which we are failing to teach these skills, (which I’m guessing is what the rest of the book focuses on) I thought it would be interesting to open the conversation online by asking people to submit the ways they teach these traits in their classrooms.  How do you foster an environment of creativity and independence? How do you get students to ask good questions and work together? 


Posted on 4 June 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Karen Littlefield

    Let’s get the discussion started with the number of teachers who ask students to present the results of research in a creative way. I’ve seen comparisons of philosophers to events in today’s life via video, foreign language presentation to emphasize phrases or survival terms using photos or prezi presentation. You are so right that our teacher are doing this. We need to share. The model of our teachers to use more questions to begin units or keep the students thinking is causing our students to question as well. We are raising the bar to more analyzing and higher order thinking.

  2. integratedintention

    Good idea! I like using the Socratic method. It’s obviously not something new – but I think it encourages many of these things.

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