I recently attended a faculty meeting at which a TED talk by education guru Tony Wagner was shown. Wagner spoke about 7 skills that students need to succeed in today’s society:
1. Problem-solving and critical thinking
2. Collaboration across networks and leading by influence
3. Agility and adaptability
4. Initiative and entrepreneurship
5. Effective written and oral communication
6. Accessing and analyzing information
7. Curiosity and imagination.
The $64,000 question is how do we, as educators, go about teaching students these skills. There are no obvious or easy answers. I believe the first step is to develop and apply all of these same skills ourselves in continually evolving and reinventing our teaching. This new year, I resolve to:
- Critically evaluate my teaching approaches and actively solve identified problems.
- Collaborate with colleagues by sharing ideas and materials.
- Be agile and adaptable to students’ different learning styles.
- Initiate change where change is needed in course design and delivery.
- Always be clear and transparent in my communications with students.
- Seek out information from influential educators such as Tony Wagner.
- Apply curiosity and imagination in my teaching.
Happy new year!