What can we be sure students will need to know 20 years from now?
I’ve been working at revamping content from my “you can teach writing” website begun in 2008 — a date that seems like an eternity ago — I’ve been taking a hard look at what from that bygone time is still valid.
Obviously anything that has passed its sell-buy date in 2017 has to be scrapped.
I’ve deleted the “current events” references and the rotted links: Information expires.
How do I decide what to keep?
I’ve started making a list of what I’m pretty sure students will need to be able to do on their own without the benefit of a teacher/supervisor 20 years from now:
That seems to me to be a reasonable method of determining what of my 2008 website content (which, truth to tell, was the accumulation of 40 years of experience as a writer, editor, and writing teacher) is durable.
In 2037 students will need to be able to:
Here’s in the order in which I thought of them are my ideas of what students will certainly be required to do in 2037.
I invite you to share your reactions in the comments section.
- learn by reading
- write to communicate
- communicate by speaking
- learn from listening
- learn by observing
- formulate useful questions
- translate information from one communication medium into another
- read and write a language other than their native tongue (language here can include computer code)
- communicate via images
- curate content
- control machines
- collaborate to achieve goals
- get along with people unlike themselves
- learn without a live teacher present
- adjust their behavior in response to their learning
- identify problems
- formulate solutions to problems in ways that are testable
- distinguish between causation and correlation
- find people able and willing to share their expertise
- distinguish between essential and non-essential activities
- distinguish between what people need and what they want
- manage their time well
Help me out.
What have I missed that everyone will need to do? Math skills for sure, but which?
What are essential skills in the social sciences? in the fine arts?
What’s on the list that is dubious?