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New skills por new students

Written bye Mr. Guy Kruse

Secondary Teacher

December 2017

Evolution and transformation at a high speed, are synonyms with of our current times.  It seems to be the way of this century. Every day we are presented with an all new idea or product which promises to upgrade our lives. Sometimes it is under the actual form of revolutionary new concepts, and some others as a transformation of the way things were before. Renew and reform are both concepts we deal with on a daily basis. We, as teacher, parents and students, need to embrace this situation to allow our full integration into this shifting rhythm. Without a doubt, we should define and practice the new competences required for the times, the most efficient decisions needed to develop talent and the required contents to help us adapt into this new sea of uncharted waters.

As a possible answer, I will try to organize the skills that, in my opinion, rate as the most promising for the 21st century student:

Collaboration: Success must be based on team work. This is not assured by today´s hyper-connectivity as more complex situations rely completely on group efforts. Not one person is capable of managing, producing and broadcasting an idea alone. It takes many, remembering that collaboration nowadays is not bound any more by distance or nationality.

Critical thinking: Applied knowledge and intensive problem solving perspectives are required in every aspect of education. Transversal learning should be promoted. This could mean using a historic solution for a contemporary situation or developing computer algorithms to improve social situations.

Global citizenship: The teenagers of today, full grown adults of tomorrow, require a global perspective on all fields. Economy, business, ecology, and social relationships are being shaped by this no-borders landscape. Many languages, tolerance, and diversity must be a fundamental teaching in our classrooms.

Communication: Once again a skill related to language, both maternal and foreign, but also to the efficient performance during the presentation of ideas. Students must be able to articulate, convince and win using speech as a tool, forever present in their “Swiss Army minds”.

Accountability: We are witnesses all too often to the sight of an avoidable crash, one  that could have been avoided by holding all parts responsible to equal and clear rules of conduct. The situation demands for a real shift in this respect. We must constantly present models of conduct and reinforce the sense of responsibility, both personal and social, in all our classrooms.

As teachers of this hyper-connected, virtual-existing individual, we have a great opportunity to pass our experience and skills to the next generation. Education should be reviewed, in its contents and also on the tools we use to deliver it. We must disregard the negative role models that are so popular on the Internet and turn our attention to the honorable ones. Constant upgrades and revisions are essential to achieve the best possible students.

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