Thinking Space - Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World

by Tony Wagner

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Notes, Questions, Comments

  • Seven Survival Skills
    • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
      • "... the heart of critical thinking and problem solving is the ability to ask the right questions."
        • How does this overlap with curiosity?
    • Collaboration and Leadership
      • "Teamwork is no longer just about working with others in your building."
      • Mike Summers “Kids just out of school have an amazing lack of preparedness in general leadership skills and collaborative skills. They lack the ability to influence.”
    • Agility and Adaptability
      • Tool flexibility belongs here, in problem solving, and in imagination. What others cross skills like that?
    • Initiative and Entrepreneurialism
    • Effective Oral and Written Communication
      • What counts as "written" communication in the age of hyperlinks, multimedia, and collaboration?
    • Accessing and Analyzing Information
    • Curiosity and Imagination
      • Finding interesting questions
      • Finding worthwhile questions
      • Finding topics of interest
      • Finding challenges
      • Imagining something different - sometimes deciding to make that reality
      • Is this where creativity springs from? Would that then overlap with Entrepreneurialism? Adaptability? (Creative) Problem-Solving?
    • There are so many of these lists, what are the differences? Which one should I use?
  • What Motivates the "Digital Natives"
    • Instant gratification and "always-on" connection
    • Use web for 1) extending friendships, 2) self-directed learning, 3) self-expression
    • Constantly connected, creating, and multitasking, except in school
    • Less fear and respect for authority - accustomed to learning from peers; want coaching, but only from adults who don't talk down to them
    • Want to "make a dent in the universe" and do interesting/worthwhile work
  • Culture of Schooling vs Culture of Innovation
    • Collaboration Versus Individual Achievement
    • Multidisciplinary Learning Versus Specialization
    • Trial and Error Versus Risk Avoidance
    • Creating Versus Consuming
    • Intrinsic Versus Extrinsic Motivation
  • Play, Passion, Purpose
  • It's no longer just what you know, but what you can do with what you know.
  • Gaming - I'm not sure his understanding of gaming is as nuanced as his understanding of other areas. I wonder what he would think of JSB's take on gaming in A New Culture of Learning
  • Where does grit belong in those skills above? How can grit not be part skill, it is definitely more than a trait.
  • The outlier teachers/profs - Where do they come from? How do they get hired in a school district? How do they get nurtured instead of co-opted?

Mentioned In Book

  • Deborah Meier 5 Habits of Mind
  • Teresa Amabile
  • Mission Hill School
    • Not to be confused with Costa and Kallick's Habits of Mind
    • Evidence: How do we know what’s true and false? What evidence counts? How sure can we be? What makes it credible to us? This includes using the scientific method, and more.
    • Viewpoint: How else might this look like if we stepped into other shoes? If we were looking at it from a different direction? If we had a different history or expectation? This requires the exercise of informed “empathy” and imagination. It requires flexibility of mind.
    • Connections/Cause and Effect: Is there a pattern? Have we seen something like this before? What are the possible consequences?
    • Conjecture: Could it have been otherwise? Supposing that? What if…? This habit requires use of the imagination as well as knowledge of alternative possibilities. It includes the habits described above.
    • Relevance: Does it matter? Who cares?

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