Unpacking Tony!

“What matters today. . . is not how much our students know, but what they can do with what they know.”

~Tony Wagner

          Tony’s statement here floods my mind with thoughts regarding how school has been operated in the past in contrast with the direction that it is heading today. Like I said in my post regarding Tyler’s rational, my educational background was not based upon creativity and higher level thinking of any sort. It was based on the premise of the educator as the all-knowing expert in the room and the students as the blank canvas waiting to be painted. The knowledge and subject content was transmitted to our minds, we studied it, were tested on it and then we wiped the canvas clean again for new information to be painted once again.

Having the type of education that I did as a student has limited me in so many ways. I believe that for that reason, the quotation above spoke volumes to me. I don’t want my future students to feel limited in any way as I have often felt. I want to foster creativity and higher level thinking in all my students. I want to help to mold problem solvers and resilient individuals. If us, as teachers, can teach our students to be resilient and efficient problem solvers then I believe the opportunities are endless for them outside of school. They will be able to think on their own feet after they walk out of the school doors and never look back. They won’t need us to hold their hands anymore because they will be confident and will have fostered so many useful life skills.

Actual subject content is very important in many instances. The type of learning I was subject to in my education should not be discarded and thrown out completely but we can definitely embellish it and learn from it. There is so much more that we are capable of as teachers and as students. Let’s not limit ourselves and continually re-paint the same overused canvas.


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