In the new global economy, where any job that can be turned into a routine is being either automated or “off-shored,” what skills will our students need to get—and keep—a good job? And what skills are needed for citizenship today?
In Tony Wagner’s book The Global Achievement Gap he argues that there are seven skills that business leaders see as necessary for success:
- 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
So the question is simply, are the goals of Ohio public education today in alignment with these seven skills and regardless of the answer to that first question as a local school district how are we preparing our students in these seven areas?
In Worthington Schools we’re working hard to be a both/and school district. We want all of our students engaged in rigorous academic content and we want them to score well on local and national assessments both for themselves and for the district. Under the current system they’ll still need a strong ACT score to be accepted at most universities (though this is changing slowly) and as a district we’re held accountable for the scores of our students. Certainly there is a need for high standards and the district level data these assessments provide shines an important light on populations of students we must serve at higher levels and devote greater resources to. We seek to lift up all of our students and because of that we welcome accountability.
But, if we’re going to seek to really accomplish our mission of empowering a community of learners who will change the world, our students must leave Worthington Schools with these critical life skills. They’re not “soft skills” as some would call them, they are the skills needed for success in life!
Over the next few blog posts we’ll strive to dig into some of these skills and the work going on in Worthington classrooms. Please stick with us….
-Trent Bowers, Superintendent