The Critical Vertex

I am continuing to work my way through “Most Likely to Succeed“, the book by Tony Wagner and Ted Dintersmith.  On p. 223 of “Most Likely to Succeed”, the Tripod of Learning for the 21st Century is described.  This is a summary of that thinking.

The three points of the tripod are: 1) content knowledge, 2) skill, and 3) the will to learn.

Triangle of Learning - Tony Wagner
Adapted from Tony Wagner and Ted Dintersmith, Most Likely to Succeed, p. 223

Of the three, will to learn (motivation) is seen as most critical, and the one most likely to be destroyed in the schools of today.

Content, for those with devices connected to the internet, is a free commodity (another reason why it is not okay that not everyone is connected).

Intrinsically motivated people are now free to learn new skills and content throughout their lives, because you can learn almost anything online.

The key question we need to ask is whether or not any given change we make to our education system, or to our teaching strategies, will increase student motivation for learning, and what evidence we will have to demonstrate this.

Motivation for learning does, of course, include engagement.  

But do we also consider empowerment – the ownership of learning that involves persistence, knowing how to learn, knowing how we learn best, working hard to understand, sharing and gathering feedback, and self-discipline to keep at it?

Along with this, the ability to think critically, to communicate effectively in all modalities, to really collaborate (not just co-operate) and to use strategies for effective creative problem solving, are the survival skills our kids need in 2016.

Featured image shared by Alan Levine CC-BY-2.0

 

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