TONIGHT'S EDCHATIE SESSION on Twitter approached transferable skills--the same chestnut we tried to crack during the last two ICTEDU conferences.
In less than an hour, 21 Irish, British and American educators cited skills and strategies that could well help foster those skills in students. The ideas came fast and furiously: issues such as skills assessment, collaborative planning, the proper integration of ICT, and a respect for literacy and numeracy. I wish the list of core skills that emerged during tonight's #edchatie session could be assessed in every new student that walks through our third level door in LIT-Clonmel. We need to know if our Level 7 and Level 8 candidates arrive with an ability to think for themselves and we need to scrutinise those who are victims of rote learning.
Here are seven essential skills that can serve a student well, from primary school to the end of third level education:
3.Integrating learning across the curriculum.
7. Reflective practise.
I have a professional interest in problem-based learning and in using the concept as early as possible in primary schools. If I had the resources and the mandate, I'd roll in Maker Faires as part of the Irish summer festival season, encouraging pre-teens to dissect, disassemble, explode, reconstruct, and remix as many different kinds of things as possible. I'd like to see catapult contests where teams win based on the accuracy and distance of their salvoes. I'd like radio-controlled aircraft contests where altitude, range and recovery form part of a matrix. I've done a lot of these things already and believe these kinds of hands-on adventures help young people think for themselves.
I would get major sponsorship money for Coder Dojo groups and start to carve out space for those who enjoy programming, possibly using the same physical assets enjoyed by the Youthreach After School activities.
I'd work with the NCCA on embedding core skills across the curriculum.
And I'd continue collaborating with enthusiastic teachers through online fora such as the hour-long #edchatie every Monday evening from 8:30PM in Ireland on Twitter.
Future Problem Solving International suggests a model to explore challenges and propose action plans to complex societal problems, such as fads, financial security, amateur sports, the Internet and genetic engineering.