A Critical Shift in EmphasisFrom Teaching Content to Building Capacity
It has been my passionate belief that building capacity, resilience and compassion within our students is more important than teaching knowledge and skills in content areas. Consider that any high school student, with a mobile phone device, has more current knowledge than the entire faculty of their school. So why does our educational establishment continue to place such a high value on content-driven curriculum and testing practices? We are no longer living in an age where ‘access to knowledge or information’ is an issue. I feel that a content driven curricula actually undermines a relevant education for students. As educators, we cannot compete with google. We know that in education our priorities, methods, structures and testing practices must shift.
The premise of the SLTrait Framework is that success is a product of HOW an individual applies themself. Whether students in classrooms or adults in life, HOW we apply ourselves to challenges, setbacks, and circumstances is actually what determines our success. Content knowledge is useful, how we apply what we know is critical. Once we recognize and embrace this, we are compelled and energized to think differently about what needs to be prioritize each day with our students.
The use of the Successful Learner Traits Framework is based upon a key shift from emphasizing content to prioritizing competencies by… deliberately using curriculum content as the context in which to do so. The Successful Learner Traits Framework is not simply the identification of 8 traits that lead to success, the Framework represents a new way of thinking about what to prioritize as we unfold learning experiences with our students. This does not mean that there is not a place for well thought out curriculum! We cannot teach SLT’s in a vacuum, rather we use curriculum content as the context in which to teach children how to apply themselves successfully. This is a dramatic and critical shift.