PREPARING ALL CHILDREN FOR LIFE, WORK AND FUTURE LEARNING
Like many Districts across the country, Brewster embarked upon the development of a Strategic Coherence Plan (SCP) out of the recognition that in order for children to thrive and survive in the 21st century, they need to be able to think critically, collaborate and communicate effectively, persevere when they encounter challenges, adapt quickly to change and participate in and contribute to their communities. Content knowledge is no longer enough to secure success in this dynamic and ever changing era defined by creation and innovation. Our Strategic Coherence Planning Team identified a number of academic and social-emotional skills that all students must acquire–critical thinking, collaboration/communication, perseverance, adaptability and civic responsibility. Without these essential skills, students will have limited choices and be unable to reinvent themselves, adjust and change over the course of their lives where they will have to be able to learn, unlearn and relearn.
21ST CENTURY REALITIES
Our students will face a number of realities that support why Brewster needs to concentrate on how we are integrating these important academic and social emotional skills into curriculum, instruction, assessment, the learning environment and professional learning:
- “Students will be judged in work, college and life not on what they know, but on what they can do with what they know.” (Tony Wagner and Ted Dintersmith, Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Kids for the Innovation Era).
- They will have 10-15 jobs in their lifetime and most of the jobs that they will have don’t exist.
- Students will encounter complex problems that require complex and creative problem solving.
- They will operate in a highly networked world that requires complex and interactive communication skills.
- Students will encounter massive amounts of information that require the ability to analyze, synthesize, leverage, and create new and old information.
- Young people will face a society in constant flux that requires the need to continuously improve.
- According to employers, the cross-cutting skills of written and oral communication, teamwork, ethical decision-making, critical thinking, and the ability to apply knowledge in real-world settings are more important to an individual’s success in the world of work than their undergraduate major (Hart Research Associates, 2015).