After reading "The Global Achievement Gap" by Tony Wagner, the 7 Survival Skills inspired me to revolve my lessons around strategies to help the students develop their academic learning skills that will help them survive college and the work force. The strategy of drilling the students with information, date, and names and using multiple choice tests as the main assessment has caused many issues in today's education system that are slowly being fixed. This method has beaten imagination and creativity out the students as the teachers were told to focus on the standards, test scores, and content rather than exploring each subject (math, science, history, English) with creativity, different learning styles and assessments. Wagner addresses the 7 survival skills open up the education system to a new type of learning.
After reading this, I have created my own 7 survival skills for teaching in my 21st century classroom.
1. Students will be given the role of responsibility for their class participation, grade, and behavior.
2. I will frequently use technology in classroom and using less paper will help the environment.
3. Incorporate culture and diversity of all students.
4. Observe and Listen to students when they are asking questions or sharing a response or idea. They student feels like his/her opinions matter and he/she is being heard.
5. Collaborating with classmates during class (group work).
6. Incorporate real world skills.
7. Know your lesson prior to teaching it and be enthusiastic when delivering the lesson!
I enjoyed reading Wagner's belief that students need to be encouraged to think critically, ask questions, analyze, problem solve or "think on their feet", think with creativity and imagination and more survival skills. We need to encourage the students to become lifelong learners and to always try their hardest and not settle for the minimum and below what they can accomplish. Students with special needs and ELL's need to be accommodated so they can fit in and develop these lifelong skills. These students often have difficulty fitting in or working with their classmates. It is essential they feel included in the class and what they have to say is important.