Seven Survival Skills for Careers

Tony Wagner quoteIn his critically acclaimed book, “The Global Achievement Gap,” author Tony Wagner explores what he considers to be “Seven Survival Skills for Careers, College and Citizenship.”

After spending time with the most successful executives and professional people in the world, Wagner came to the conclusion that there is a gap between what our students need to be successful when they enter the real world and what we are teaching them in the classroom.

As a result, he created a list of essential 21st Century skills that all people need in order to be successful in college, in their career, and for their overall citizenship.

Global Achievement GapThe seven skills are:

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
Collaboration Across Networks and Leading By Influence
Agility and Adaptability
Initiative and Entrepreneurialism
Effective Oral and Written Communication
Accessing and Analyzing Information
Curiosity and Imagination

All of these skills are important!

I believe our unique approach at FLVS allows our students to hone each of these skills in a variety of ways.

Our teachers utilize Discussion-based Assessments (DBAs) to motivate their students to think critically, solve problems, and dive deep into inquiry. Our DBAs also provide plenty of practice for our students in effective oral and written communication.

FLVS students regularly have the opportunity to collaborate with their classmates via discussion board posts and collaboration assignments. And, because we have students who come from all over the world, it’s possible our students will collaborate with peers who aren’t even in their own town!

Agility and adaptability are skills that are going to be increasingly important for students because they lead to becoming a professional who is prepared and ready to meet any and all needs in the future. FLVS students learn about agility and adaptability in many ways in our courses, one being the use of feedback and resubmission to show mastery. FLVS teachers provide detailed and effective feedback to our students on their assignments which hopefully encourages students to revisit their work and make changes and adjustments until they are able to show mastery of a concept. Being able to adapt in situations, assess the adjustments needed, and make those refinements is crucial to future success.

Perhaps the skill FLVS hones the most in our students is building curiosity and imagination.

Our classrooms are already limitless, offering students the chance to learn and grow in an atmosphere largely (If not completely!) dictated by their needs. With access to incredible technology, our teachers and students build their scope of imagination to new and greater heights.

In our fast-paced world where things change at a constant rate, Florida Virtual School is proud to offer each and every student the capacity to not only learn these powerful skills, but to empower one another to reach their highest potential and greatest success.

Which of these skills do you think is the most important? Feel free to share in the comments below!


Amanda SchafferAmanda Schaffer, FLVS Professional Learning Specialist, came to Florida Virtual School in 2013. As an educator, she has worked as a teacher, cheerleading coach, and district resource coach. She came to FLVS from Orange County Public Schools where she earned her school's title of Teacher of the Year in 2010. Currently she leads training for teachers and new hires at FLVS. Mrs. Schaffer is passionate about the research of Carol Dweck and helping students and teachers develop a Growth Mindset!



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