Every teacher wants to make a difference in their students’ lives. We do this by helping students develop skills they can use in the future. However, these are constantly evolving, especially with the advent of the Internet in the classroom. How do I know what to teach my Grade 6 students to prepare them? I reflect on this idea because of a recent study published by ACT, an independent, nonprofit organization that provides services in education and workforce development.
The study, “ACT National Curriculum Survey 2016, Education and Work In a Time of Change“, has multiple findings, but the one that caught my attention is that we are not preparing our students for the workplace. The study indicates that ‘nonacademic’ skills are falling short of expectations. Specifically, “conscientiousness, problem solving, critical thinking, understanding the ethical use of information, and speaking/listening ” are needing further development.
I think the implementation of Project-Based Learning (PBL) will address these issues. While I am a ‘rookie’ in this process of integrating PBL into my curriculum, I can already see that it focuses on the development of important ‘nonacademic’ skills. Our school has already focused on building important growth mindsets in our students, and PBL will go even further in the development of the 4C’s: Collaboration, Creativity, Communication, and Critical Thinking.
I want my students to have the skills in order to be successful. I think our classrooms need to continue to evolve to ensure that school prepares them for the future.