A Purpose of Education
Here's a suggestion about how we should be preparing our pupils for their futures:
The World Economic Forum (WEF) lists the following skills as essential for full participation in the global economy from 2020:
- Complex Problem Solving
- Critical Thinking
- People Management
- Coordinating with Others
- Emotional Intelligence
- Judgement and Decision Making
- Service Orientation
- Cognitive Flexibility
These sit alongside requirements for several literacies: linguistic, numerical, digital, information, financial, cultural, together with a range of character qualities such as curiosity, grit, initiative and social awareness. Students also need knowledge and the skills to find, evaluate, store, retrieve and use it.
If we believe this - either specifically or in principle - then how, as responsible, professional educators should we respond?
The answer to this question drives me (and many of the wonderful folks with whom I work) to seek high quality, future-focused teaching, learning and curricula that fully prepare pupils for their futures rather than for someone else's past. The Challenge 10 Toolkit is one way to do this.
C10 is 10 Thinking Classroom teaching tools inspired by extensive research and by my work with 1000s of teachers over the last 20 years.
The C10 Toolkit was created by considering three questions:
- How can we best prepare our students for their futures?
- Which teaching practices are most effective?
- How can we use the second to achieve the first?
It's about using informed predictions on behalf of your pupils to help them on their way to successful adult citizenship.
It's about being prepared to learn and to try out alternative ways to teach - without discarding what already works.
And it's also about protecting and passing on our precious knowledge heritage.
Skills vs Knowledge? Debate Over
Skills vs knowledge is still an ongoing debate. It really shouldn't be any longer. Forward-thinking educators like you easily integrate the two into their lessons. Believe it or not, it is so very easy to learn about (and enjoy learning about) modal verbs and fronted adverbials whilst developing 21st century employability skills.
It's not one or the other. It's both.
The C10 Toolkit provides a cohesive way to develop skills, literacies and character qualities whilst passing on our precious knowledge heritage.
C10 rests on four pieces of research: The Learning Pyramid (NTL, circa 1960); Classroom Instruction That Works (Marzano, 2003); Visible Learning (Hattie, 2008); and Teacher Toolkit (EEF, 2012).
Features of effective practice that appear in at least two of the four pieces of research make up the C10 list of eight. This is a list of eight features of teaching and learning that, according to the research above, define the most effective practice:
- Peer Teaching & Learning
- Active Learning
- Visual Learning
- High Order Thinking
10 Thinking Classroom tools have been selected and each one, in some way, addresses ALL of the 8 features of effective teaching and learning. So, if you use the tools then you automatically trigger the eight features; you automatically provide effective learning that's matched to what research suggests works. The kind of tools in the kit are:
- Team & Task Roles
- Active Lecture
- Bagel Thinking
- Graffiti Wall & Edit Alley
For example, by running a check-in, pupils automatically develop learning relationships, collaboration and self-efficacy. Bagel Thinking develops peer teaching and learning as well as collaboration, and so on.
And if you look further then the tools ALSO target the 10 WEF skills above. For example, Bagel Thinking develops complex problem solving, coordinating with others and critical thinking.
Several schools that I've worked with over the past few years have already embedded C10 practices. Here are excerpts from a project impact evaluation from Ealing schools:
The Senior Leadership Team (SLT) understood how to change the school's culture by using teacher ambassadors who would disseminate ideas and train their colleagues. Mike's personality and skillful delivery of CPD ensured that the teachers were first exposed to, then tried different ways of teaching the children, in a fun way.
Mike's ideas and suggestions helped the SLT to motivate the staff and build successful teams which, in turn, impacted on the pupils' progress.
Fantastic impact on challenge for More Able. Inspiring, engaging, user friendly approach to developing deeper thinking that all staff and children love.
Sustainable and now embedded across the school , this approach continues to evolve as staff take ownership.
10 effective teaching tools. 8 features of highly effective teaching. 10 key skills for the future.
By simply using the 10 tools you achieve 2 things:
1. Automatically embed the 8 features of highly effective teaching.
2. Automatically create opportunities for pupils to develop 10 key 21st skills.
Contact Mike to find out more about C10 resources, activities and sustainable training for your school or organisation. firstname.lastname@example.org