The question that comes to mind when determining whether someone understood the concept of the video would be, “What characteristics do successful people have? & why do those skills make them successful? “These questions would force someone to really focus on what traits are needed to be successful in all avenues of life. The videos both explain how valuable and important these skills for someone to be successful in school and professional environment. As an educator, it is challenging to implement some of these important values for students to build upon. Students are so focused on grades, that they often lose the ability to recognize that there is much more to learning than memorization or test taking.
I have been collaborating with colleagues about how to teach empathy to students. Research shows that when students lack empathy, there is an increase of anxiety and depression (Borba, 2016) This lack of empathy can be contributed to students a high level of competitiveness, communicating through social media, and having less time in school to play. The current students spend much more time building relationships through technology instead of face to face connections. When this occurs students lack abilities to empathize with others which breaks down their ability to communicate, collaborate, adapt and understand the perspective of others.
Wagner’s 7 skills include: critical thinking, being able to adapt, collaborating, students taking initiative, communicating, analyzing information, and remain curious (Wagner, 2009). Galinsky’s y life skills include: using self-control, communicating, making connections, critical thinking, taking on challenges, and self-directed learning (Galinsky, 2013). Wagner’s 7 skills and Galinsky’s 7 life skills easily overlap and have many similarities. The themes were very similar even though at times the vocabulary differed. For example, Wagner’s idea of the importance of initiative aligns with Galinsky’s idea of students having self-control. Students that have self-control typically also have the ability to take initiative especially when it comes to learning. One of the other major themes is the ability to work with others through collaboration, communication, understanding perspective, and adaptability. The most successful people understand that working with others is both beneficial and necessary to achieve anything significant. They also stress the how the importance of creativity, or making connections. This is an enormous deficit in the educational environment. Many struggle with the ability to problem solve or think critically. I believe this is a conditioned behavior that has been created through testing and rewarding students through primarily grades. Humans are naturally curious, and creative, but students learn that they are rewarded for passing tests, versus being inquisitive or expressive. Educators are working hard to change this model in the current classroom environment through maker spaces, genius hour, and project-based learning. However, the majority of the school day is spent structured behaviorism models.
It is necessary to have structured vision of where you are looking towards and what you are looking to accomplish. To do this it is important to develop what questions you are looking to answer or to have an understanding of what questions you are working towards answering. Each day, educators mold curriculum and student learning around objectives. We are asking ourselves what we are wanting every student to leave our classroom with understanding. We need to set the same foundation for ourselves when we are searching for ways to improve students learning in the classroom. Establishing research questions allows us to effectively mold ideas and develop a plan of how to accomplish these goals.
Borba, M. (2016). Unselfie. New York City: Touchstone.
Galinsky, Ellen. (2013, July 17). The seven essential life skills. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdIkQnTy6jA
Wagner, Tony. (2009, October). 7 Skills students need for their future. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NS2PqTTxFFc