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In our work with uSchool, a new design-based high school opening in Philadelphia in the fall, we were asked to respond to these two questions:

  1. What are the five skills that you know high-schoolers must be taught to be successful at the next level?
  2. What are the values that schools can inculcate to launch youth into successful post-secondary careers?

The answers required a significant amount of reflection and thought. Here is what we came up with:

For the five skills high-schoolers must be taught to be successful at the next level, we said: 

  1. Collaboration (empathic listening, co-creation, group dynamics)
  2. Systems thinking (making connections at a granular level, then zoom out to see/construct the big picture)
  3. Creativity (play, imagination, out of the box thinking)
  4. Resilience (lessened fear of failure, reflection and subsequent iteration)
  5. Multi-modal communication (verbal, visual, written, body language)

For the values that schools can inculcate to launch youth into successful post-secondary careers, we said:

  1. Learning by doing (experiential, real world projects)
  2. Self-awareness (responsibility, integrity, self-control)
  3. Diversity (in thought, contribution, role)
  4. Agency (self-motivation, self-directed, confidence, optimism)
  5. Craft ("the desire to do a job well for its own sake" as said by Richard Sennett)

How would you have responded to those two questions?

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