Dr. Tony Wagner has been shaking up education (and parenting), for years. His six books, including bestselling Creating Innovators and The Global Achievement Gap, now in its Second Edition, are printed in over 14 languages and have sold millions of copies around the world.
He was recently the Strategic Education Advisor for a major new education documentary, “Most Likely to Succeed,” and co-authored the book by the same name with Ted Dintersmith. Dr. Wagner joins us at Rocky Mountain STEAM Fest to expose us all to ideas about how we can prepare our children (and ourselves), to be more creative and capable in the Innovation Era.
Dr. Wagner’s Seven Survival Skills for Careers, College and Citizenship
In his work as Expert in Residence at Harvard University’s new Innovation Lab, Dr. Wagner asserts that there are seven survival skills that we all need to not just succeed, but actually thrive in the Innovation Era. These include(1):
- Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving
- Collaboration Across Networks and Leading by Influence
- Agility and Adaptability
- Initiative and Entrepreneurialism
- Effective Oran and Written Communication
- Accessing and Analyzing Information
- Curiosity and Imagination
America is caught between a “rock and a hard place” according to Dr. Wagner, because we need new skills to be successful in our careers. But more and more, students are not graduating from our schools with these skills. What’s more, they are motivated to learn differently as a result of growing up in the “Net Generation.” Our schools have not changed as quickly as our students have.
What Motivates the Net Generation?
Many things are different for a student that has been raised with instant access to information. The Net Generation has also shopped with stores like Amazon.com – where they are treated personally and are “served” relevant products based on their shopping behaviors.
Young people have come to expect a personalized experience in all interactions. They are also accustomed to being able to explore areas that they are interested in through independent exploration. They surf YouTube, find special-interest sites, and connect to other people that share their interests.
This web of connections is ever growing and changing. Young people are exposed to new tools every day and they are not intimidated by the rapid change in their world. They want to learn from their peers, but don’t necessarily respect authority. Their best learning often happens outside a traditional classroom.
What’s Next for Education? How can it Keep Up?
Dr. Wagner’s specific prescriptions for adapting education systems include a fresh look at critical topics to zero in on developing the seven survival skills mentioned above. He advocates for activity-based (also known as project-based or problem-based) learning which increases classroom discussion and engagement, and often deepens learning.
The courses suggested, “aim not to draw students into a discipline, but to bring the disciplines into students’ lives… in ways that link the arts and sciences with the 21st century world that students will face and the lives they will lead after college.” (2)
Join us for Dr. Tony Wagner’s Presentation
Saturday, April 30th at 2pm
Your ticket to STEAM Fest includes admission to Dr. Wagner’s presentation.
Purchase tickets to STEAM Fest HERE. Seating at Dr. Wagner’s presentation is limited and is first-come, first-served. Arrive early to ensure your seat.
(1) Dr. Tony Wagner, Copyright 2010. http://www.slideshare.net/thinkglobalschool/tony-wagner-nais-presentation-11351911
(2) Harvard General Education Homepage: http://www.generaleducation.fas.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do