Important skills students alway need

Although I have written about the essential skills that SBL teaches our students in the past, it is certainly worth re-emphasising these on a regular basis as they are such a core component of what we achieve at SBL with our students.

As SBL facilitators, we constantly strive to prepare our students for the ‘real world’ that exists around them. We teach them how to read, write, and calculate. Of course, there are the less tangible skills we teach too – how to collaborate, how to think analytically, how to inquire and how to be resilient when faced with challenges.

At SBL we strive to prepare our students to be self-directed, entrepreneurial young people that are ready and prepared to lead in a world that is ever changing. Do we really know what lies ahead for our students? Sadly, we are facilitators and do not have a ‘crystal ball’ that can predict what the world will look like in ten or twenty years’ time, but at SBL we certainly do our best to prepare their students for this anyway.

In 2013, Tony Wagner of Harvard University worked to uncover the 7 essential skills required for the 21st century. To accomplish this, hundreds of CEOs in business, non-profits organisations and educational institutions were interviewed. A list of seven essential skills was compiled from their answers. These skills are as relevant now, 10 years later, as they were in 2013.

We may not know exactly what lies ahead for our students in the future, but at SBL we do have the advantage of knowing what skills they will need once they get there.

Problem Solving: SBL students develop their skill at seeing problems from different angles and formulating their own solutions. Regardless of the field they choose to enter for their careers, the ability to think and act quickly is an indispensable tool for the future.

Collaboration: Our students understand that not every person is born a natural leader. However, the ability to lead others can definitely help a person to advance and become successful in their career. To best prepare our students in this area we encourage our students to take on different roles within their group for each task within an inquiry or a project. This allows them to work with others in a collaborative way and develops the skill of being a role player in different scenarios.

Flexibility: If we look back at the last twenty years we can see how much has changed in the workplace and the world.Our students are comfortable with the idea of change and are willing to adapt to the changes around them. Our facilitators create a very dynamic environment within the classroom that can help to prepare students for a future that is ever changing.

Entrepreneurship: SBL students are able to take initiative and contribute to the world. We encourage this skill by encouraging our students to be creative and interested in shaping their experiences at SBL, this is part of the reason why we have ‘agreements’ not rules and consequences. We are always available and willing to listen to any of their ideas about improving the classroom or our school. We guide and help them organise their ideas and put them into practice – even if an idea may fail. This is a valuable learning opportunity to discover how to analyse what went wrong and consider how to improve.

Oral and Written Communication: Despite advances in technology, this is a skill that never diminishes in importance. We help our students to present and speak confidently and clearly. Whilst for written communication, we continue to emphasise how to use technology available to them to help check their writing.

Accessing and Analysing Information: Our students have access to unimaginable amounts of information today. The Internet provides an incredible research tool that can be their best friend or worst enemy. Accessing information is easy, but accessing good information tends to be more complicated. Our students are taught how to sift through the millions of web pages available on a topic and find what they need (and be able to trust what they find). SBL students learn the difference between factual information and factual-sounding opinions.

Curiosity and Imagination: SBL students come to us naturally curious about their world and wanting to explore it. Their imaginations are vast and untamed, creating endless amounts of practical and impractical things. Our role as facilitators has less to do with teaching them how to be curious and imaginative, and more to do with not taking that away from them. We encourage our students to develop this skill, as well as guiding them in how to apply their creativity and imagination purposefully.

Are you interested in SBL’s learning approach? If you would like to access more information about School Beyond Limitations or ask any questions, please reach out to us.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *