Monday, March 6, 2017

Three Questions from TonyWagner

© Tony Wagner, 2008 (first published in Educational Leadership, October, 2008)
In the new global economy, with many jobs being either automated or “off-shored,”
1. what skills will students need to build successful careers?
2. What skills will they need to be good citizens?
3. Are these two education goals in conflict?
To examine these questions, I conducted research beginning with conversations with several hundred business, nonprofit, philanthropic, and education leaders. With a clearer picture of the skills young people need, I then set out to learn whether U.S. schools are teaching and testing the skills that matter most. I observed classrooms in some of the nation’s most highly regarded suburban schools to find out whether our “best” was, in fact, good enough for our children’s
future. What I discovered on this journey may surprise you.

The Schooling Students Need

One of my first conversations was with Clay Parker, president of the Chemical Management Division of BOC Edwards.
“First and foremost, I look for someone who asks good questions,” Parker responded. “We can teach them the technical stuff, but we can’t teach them how to ask good questions—how to think.”
“I want people who can engage in good discussion—who can look me in the eye and have a give and take. All of our work is done in teams. You have to know how to work well with others. But you also have to know how to engage customers—to find out what their needs are. If you can’t engage others, then you won’t learn what you need to know.”

Today’s students need to master seven survival skills to thrive in the new world of work. And these skills are the same ones that will enable students to become productive citizens who contribute to solving some of the most pressing issues we face in the 21st century.
YOU CAN READ Tony Wagner's notes from his observations of schools.
This "thought for the day" is a standard TFTD for most students at
The idea is to keep this quote in the minds of teachers and students so we can say, "Hey, let's stop for a minute here... we can add to our skills today and each day ... what can I do right now to become better at listening to a customer??

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