I have been reading about change leadership and innovative educational models lately. One of the books I read is Tony Wagner’s “The Global Achievement Gap”. Much of his research has focused on the skills our students will need to be successful in the next generation. He calls attention to 3 fundamental transformations that have occurred in society over a short period of time (p. xxvi):
- the rapid evolution of the new global “knowledge economy”.
- the sudden and dramatic shift from information that is limited in terms of amount and availability to information characterized by flux and glut.
- the increasing impact of media and technology on how young people learn and relate to the world – and to each other.
Do you think that our schools have evolved (enough) to face these new realities? Based on his research of the New World of Work, Wagner posits that our students will need 7 “Survival Skills”:
- Critical thinking and problem solving
- Collaboration across networks and leading by influence
- Agility and adaptability – Some futurists are predicting that children today will live to 100 and work 40 different jobs!
- Initiative and entrepreneurialism
- Effective oral and written communication
- Accessing and analyzing information
- Curiosity and imagination
With the help of an educated and passionate parent group, resources, and talented staff, I believe we are teaching many of these “survival skills” through our curriculum. Fortunately, we have district leadership (Board of Education and administration) that is committed to continuous improvement and continuous innovation. I cannot wait to see what (and how) the District 30 students will be learning in the near future. This is an amazing time to be a student… and a principal.