What we know about what kids will need

2 Things we learned in this article: Century Talent Spotting – LINK

1 – VUCA is how they describe the world that educators are sending their students . . . But we contend that the environment that schools strive to be is dependable, predictable, simple and definite. VUCA – means a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environment (VUCA is the military-acronym-turned-corporate-buzzword)

2 – Here is the “talent” that is most desired in the current marketplace:

Curiosity: a penchant for seeking out new experiences, knowledge, and candid feedback and an openness to learning and change

Insight: the ability to gather and make sense of information that suggests new possibilities

Engagement: a knack for using emotion and logic to communicate a persuasive vision and connect with people

Determination: the wherewithal to fight for difficult goals despite challenges and to bounce back from adversity

Here is how we propose getting students ready for the Test of Life Not Just the Test 21st LINK

Brian Pete & Robin Fogarty


I’m Different! And, You are Too!—Using Reflection to Differentiate Instruction | Solution Tree Blog

Our latest entry for Solution Tree Blog –

The first, mentioned previously, is teacher feedback, the second is metacognitive self-reflection, and the third, peer tutoring. Fortunately, all three of these are embedded in the metacognitive skill set for the reflective thinking that is needed for student problem-solving and student mindfulness necessary for decision-making.With the conventional knowledge of an expert teacher on the power of reflective thinking and the research findings that support the metacognition skill set, it behooves us as educational leaders to honor and nurture that unique uniqueness of our students.

Source: I’m Different! And, You are Too!—Using Reflection to Differentiate Instruction | Solution Tree Blog

The Future Agency – The Verge

  • Maybe students of today will pursue a career in the field of imaging what the world will look like in 25 years . . .

Design fiction is created by a loose confederation of agencies, artists, engineers, and designers who are shaping our expectations of technology and society in decades to come by showing us what that incipient world might look like, down to its cliche brand logos. It’s science fiction made real in the form of interactive exhibitions, product demonstrations, and behind-the-scenes consulting work. And it tends to pop up at any event Davos-ish enough to include the word “influencers.”

Source: The Future Agency – The Verge

Metacognition: The Secret Power Set

Four forces are in the wind of the educational world propelling the complementary notions of metacognitive reflection, self-regulation, self-assessment, and a sense of student agency. These are identified as dispositions  needed for our future citizens as they assume their rightful role of life-long learners. According to Toeffler, “The illiterate of the future will not be those who cannot read and write, rather it will be those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn” – the skills at the very heart of metacognitive reflection. The four winds impacting this mission are:

  • Schools are riding on the coattails of the Common Core State Standards
  • Schools are no longer just the brick and mortar buildings, but, schools without walls.
  • Schooling, in fact, is anywhere, anytime learning; doing it to learn not learning to do.
  • Student agency is the goal;  teaching in ways that students  learn without being taught.

The secret power of metacognition is one of the ways this happens. Students must acquire the skillfulness to be metacognitive, to step back from the action of the moment, to think about their thinking, and what they are thinking about, and at the same time, to strive to learn about their strengths and weaknesses as learners. They must know what they are good at, what they can improve, and what is, at this moment, outside their areas of interest, specialty or speculation. Students must be empowered within themselves to forge ahead, regardless of the paths they may choose.

Attention to the metacognitive strategies for planning, monitoring and evaluation their own behaviors and learning dispositions is key to becoming more reflective and more self-reliant. Teachers and students must begin to embrace a somewhat less content dependent and more application-dependent approach to living and learning. Of course, content is always there. It is what we have to think about, but the processes are the life long skills that help students strike the 21st Century postures of “kids in the know.

Call Robin Fogarty & Associates for professional learning days this summer. It is the perfect time for students to soak in the promise of this amazing set of strategies that include 1) a metacognitive strategies skill set for reflective learning 2) a formative assessment skills set for actionable feedback , and 3) a student collaboration skill set for peer coaching.

800.213.9246. We will listen, ask questions and advise you and your instructional leadership team how to best roll out this curriculum of  “21st Century Soft Skills” that are shaping the options students have as future citizens, facing unknown challenges in their lifetimes.

Education reform: Teaching the teachers | The Economist

In a study updated last year, John Hattie of the University of Melbourne crunched the results of more than 65,000 research papers on the effects of hundreds of interventions on the learning of 250m pupils. He found that aspects of schools that parents care about a lot, such as class sizes, uniforms and streaming by ability, make little or no difference to whether children learn (see chart). What matters is “teacher expertise”. All of the 20 most powerful ways to improve school-time learning identified by the study depended on what a teacher did in the classroom.

Source: Education reform: Teaching the teachers | The Economist

The 8 Most Important Soft Skills Every Graduating Student Needs and Why

As you may expect, there are lots of definitions for them. One way to say it is that soft skills encompass non-curricular emotionally-based skills that are not generally measurable. They have more to do with how we connect with each other, and with the world around us. In many ways, they’re also about building relationships.

Source: The 8 Most Important Soft Skills Every Graduating Student Needs and Why