Saturday, 24 August 2013

The 12 Must-Have Skills Of Modern Learners


via Edudemic via User Generated Education

I consider myself a modern learner.  I participate online, share ideas and resources with both students and teachers (known and unknown) and collaborate with others, working towards a greater good. This infographic made me stop and reflect on how well I am providing opportunities for my students to also develop the skills of a modern learner.  It is a great summary of not only the so called "21st Century Skills" we hear so much about but takes it a bit further in its consideration of values and the characteristics of an independent learner.

  1. Critical thinking and problem solving
  2. Initiative and entrepreneurialism
  3. Curiousity and imagination
  4. Hope and Optimism
  5. Self-regulation
  6. Vision
  7. Empathy and global stewardship
  8. Resilience
  9. Grit
  10. Agility and adaptability
  11. Collaboration across networks
  12. Effective oral and written communication  

In considering this list I stopped and considered (even looked up) exactly what was meant by grit and resilience.
Grit (psychology) is a positive, non-cognitive trait, based on an individual’s passion for a particular long-term goal or endstate coupled with a powerful motivation to achieve their respective objective. This perseverance of effort promotes the overcoming of obstacles or challenges that lie within a gritty individual’s path to accomplishment and serves as a driving force in achievement realization. (Wikipedia)
Psychological resilience is an individual's tendency to cope with stress and adversity. This coping may result in the individual "bouncing back" to a previous state of normal functioning, or simply not showing negative effects. (Wikipedia)
Thanks Wikipedia for a quick definition of these two terms and a new insight into the huge favour I will be doing my students by ensuring that I intentionally integrate opportunities for them to develop these skills - not that I don't - but I believe that the intentionality is important. I've been spending a lot of time lately thinking about ways to more effectively develop my relationships with students and the idea seemed to logically flow that this makes it far easier to tap into their passions and thus provide opportunities for them to develop their perseverance or grit through overcoming difficulties and carrying on. Resilience seems a little more tricky - it's not like I'm going to traumatise my students so that can learn to bounce back.  Providing constructive feedback and opportunities for others to do so in a safe and nurturing environment still seems like my best bet but if you have other ideas please comment at the bottom of the post, I would love to learn from you.

Wouldn't it be great if we could all include all of these skills and attributes into every unit of work. With a little creativity, well crafted essential\inquiry questions and the willingness to "let go and let our students" it is possible. In fact, isn't it just a case of practising what we are preaching.

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