If the most important thing we can offer our students in a world of accelerating change, is how to apply themselves, then I feel we must prioritize this as the lens in which to view all learning. By using the 8 Successful Learner Traits as the critical lens in which to view learning across all ages, subject areas, and social contexts, teachers are offered a manageable framework. More importantly, students are provided with a very clear and consistent set of traits that they learn to use to effectively apply themselves in multiple.

I think it is very important to make a point here about about steering clear of ‘curricula proliferation’. If the mistake were made of attempting to describe how a set of competencies meshed within each subject area and its learning outcomes, the result becomes a proliferation of curricular statements. The effort to describe everything invariably will leave important aspects out and the list of descriptors result in statements like ‘‘it is expected that the student will…” which are often viewed as prescriptive. The greatest downside however of curricula proliferation, especially within a competency framework, is the loss of the ability to clarify for our students what counts.

It is interesting that by leaving the Framework as a set of 8 clearly described traits, and by trusting both teachers and students to recognize the natural application of the traits in multiple contexts, the framework offers clarity for students and is manageable for teachers.