There’s some interesting lists going around about what you should learn. Stephen Downes has created a list (in reply to Guy Kawasaki’s list), and not surprisingly it’s really good. I was interested in how it compared to the list I created for my ‘learning wisdom‘ talk back in November. Stephen’s is more personal (ie what a learner should take ownership of), where mine was more curricular, but there are enough similarities to see why I resonated with it.
Here then, are his 10 items and their relation to the list I created:
- How to predict consequences – this is my ‘systems thinking’, the ability to use models to make predictions and explanations. I add in the ability to build models (even if just qualitatively), as I think it’s an important skill going forward.
- How to read – I didn’t have this explicitly, but he means it as more than literacy, and I lump it under ‘critical thinking’.
- How to distinguish between truth and fiction – this, too, fits under ‘critical thinking’ in my list.
- How to empathize – this would fit under my category of ‘stewardship’, a feeling of responsibility for others, but also the other denizens of our planet and the planet itself.
- How to be creative – I have this under ‘design’.
- How to communicate clearly – and I have this under communication.
- How to learn – I have ‘meta-learning’.
- How to stay healthy – this is one place where we begin to differ, I didn’t have this explicitly, and it’s a good element.
- How to value yourself – I think this is a good one as well. I don’t have it.
- How to live meaningfully – Again, one I didn’t have explicitly, I’d argue (not strongly, however) that it could fall out my element of ethics.
So, my list had 5 major categories with two elements each: I had problem-solving including research and design, systems-thinking with model-based reasoning and modeling, working with others covering leadership as well as communication, learning as an umbrella for critical thinking and meta-learning, and values covering both ethics and stewardship.
I could quibble about leadership, research, and ethics, and Stephen could quibble about health, valuing yourself, and living meaningfully, but I think both lists provide some good ideas sorely missing from our current schooling. Like David Jonassen says, the problems our kids learn to solve in schools have essentially no relation to what they have to solve in life.