Another dot in the blogosphere?

Timely and timeless skills

Posted on: July 7, 2012

@elfgoh is wondering what skills students should learn. He tweeted in #edsg and shared his question on Facebook.

Here is my response.

I do not think he was referring to school-based skills or values or attitudes. In the context of the last #edsg chat, I think he might be thinking of 21st century skills or competencies. Or he could just be thinking about how students might be prepared for an uncertain future.

My suggestion is that students learn to LAMP: be Literate, be Adaptable, have Multiple Perspectives.

Why LAMP? Simply because I believe that education is the lighting of the lamp, not the filling of the pail.

By being literate I mean that students should have have literacies basic, information, digital, social, and more. (Yeah, I cheated because this is actually a suite of skills, but this does not make them any less important.)

Learning to adapt is a skill that helps when circumstances change unexpectedly. Adaptability is useful in emergencies, in business, and in various aspects of daily life.

Finally, being able to take multiple perspectives keeps a broad and inquiring mind. I would argue that you have only learnt something when you adopt someone else’s perspective.

These are skills that current schooling does not necessarily emphasize or provide. They are what I expect of my son and my learners to master. These skills are are all enablers of lifelong, lifewide learning.

I think that these are timely skills given today’s context. They are also timeless because you could mention most of them 100 years ago (digital literacy being the exception) and they would still be relevant.

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