Saturday, January 19, 2013

What will they need in the future?

Earlier this week, I shared this question on Twitter:

This has been on my mind recently thanks to increased focus on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Also, many of the teachers I work with are concerned that students are struggling to find purpose in the mathematics being taught.

While I was not expecting a response, I was grateful that some people were willing to share their perspective (such is the nature of Twitter).
I found it interesting that none of these responses focused on any particular content. Granted, this is a extremely small, (probably) biased sample. Therefore I thought I would open up the question to others who might like to participate. You can leave your thoughts in the comments or write your own blog post.

What's the one thing you think your students will need from your class 10 years from now?

For what it is worth, I currently think productive discourse is the most important thing students can take away from my class. I agree with Brian Cambourne when he writes:
Learning, thinking, knowing and understanding are significantly enhanced when one is provided with opportunities for 'talking one's way to meaning.'
That is why I am less concerned about the CCSS than how they are implemented. Am I giving students opportunities to discuss, examine, and consolidate ideas so that they might be more easily transferred to other situations?

But wait - this principle applies to us as well. So let the discussion begin! Thank you in advance for engaging in productive discourse.


  1. I don't know that I want to prepare my students for the future; I'd prefer to prepare them for now.

    I hope that my students NOW learn about how to learn for themselves, how to thoughtfully, and respectfully disagree with someone else, and how to choose for themselves what kinds of people they want to be in their future. In ten years, if they learn all of these things now, I'm sure that they will continue to be people of which I can be proud.

  2. David, it's a fair point. I guess my perspective was learning that lasts. Learning things NOW that they will apply well beyond the test at the end of the week certainly represents my hope for my learners, as well. Thanks for adding this point of view to the discussion.