qualities, a list that includes persistence, self-control, curiosity, conscientiousness, grit and self-confidence. Economists refer to these as noncognitive skills, psychologists call them personality traits, and the rest of us sometimes think of them as character.” And not surprisingly, the conversation in the corporate world is strikingly similar. Tony Wagner, former educator now Expert in Residence at Harvard’s Innovation Lab and Senior Research Fellow at the Learning Policy Institute, surveyed executives of major corporations and found that they are looking for what he calls “Seven survival skills” in all their employees: • Critical thinking and problem solving. • Collaboration across networks and leading by influence. • Agility and adaptability. • Initiative and entrepreneurship. •Effective oral and written communication. • Accessing and analyzing information. • Curiosity and imagination. You will notice that the list is nearly
In this project, we strategically introduced how learning can take place outside the classroom through the use of color, which helps define various spaces, and by creating space for play and active learning.
identical to those social/emotional skills that researchers are now saying should be getting a lot of attention in K-12 education. The corporate world is driven by change and innovation, as one leader said, “I can guarantee that the job I hire someone to do
will change or may not exist in the future, so this is why adaptability and learning skills are more important than technical skills.” What both educators and employers know is: someone who is engaged and thinking critically can and will continue to learn.
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