It’s Not Just Content Anymore…

In a great video by Dr. Tony Wagner (Twitter: @DrTonyWagner), he describes the Seven Skills that are essential to the graduates of today. The unfortunate thing is… most courses do not offer these skills because, so it seems, most classes are so content driven, there is no room for the other skills that need to be taught.

Thanks to Edudemic.Com’s Post “The 7 Skills Students Must Have For The Future”, the seven skills that ARE needed include:

  1. Critical thinking and problem-solving
  2. Collaboration across networks and leading by influence
  3. Agility and adaptability
  4. Initiative and entrepreneurialism
  5. Effective oral and written communication
  6. Accessing and analyzing information
  7. Curiosity and imagination

As I consider the Arts Curriculum that I teach, with Goals and Objectives based on the National Visual Arts Standards, the Seven Skills that are “Must Have’s” are touched on and dealt with on a regular basis. Maybe not each skill every day, but as I look at particular assignments / artworks, one may see the connections that are dealt with to emphasize the seven skills (and one may look at Marzano’s Instructional Strategies [my notes on the book: Classroom Instruction that Works] to see if and how they all tie together). I am in a fortunate position where the elements and principles of art are simply a foundation for the creation of artwork and tie together and build upon one another from the very first class to the highest level of an AP course. Line is Line is Line… Value is Value is Value… Balance is Balance is Balance… and the artists just get more adept at using them throughout the years.

Skills and tools like Critical Thinking: looking at the assignment, challenge at hand and coming up with multiple successful solutions to the same challenge; Collaboration: sharing ideas and critiques – both through writing and orally; Being Agile and Adaptable: enough to solve problems with resources at hand; Taking Initiative: to be self driven artists (some struggle with this – some are pro’s); Effective Oral and Written Communication: Critiquing, again the written and oral – both self, teacher based, and peer to peer – soon parent to child to teacher; Accessing and Analyzing Information: taking the historical and contemporary ideas and tying the artistic challenge into their own artwork. Making sure that the artwork they create speaks about their important place in history; and finally Curiosity and Imagination: Making successful and challenging art – Duh? These are ALL parts of each and every artwork (sans the Art Foundations on EACH of the projects – there are the elements and principles one has to get through… but give it time).

Above is Dr. Tony Wagner’s Video and Below is his Power Point Presentation… Definitely worth the look. Thank you Edutopia and Dr. Tony Wagner.

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