What do students need to know and be able to be successful? Content knowledge and problem solving gives you something to work with, but what else is important in life? It turns out there are a bunch of factors that universities seldom talk about, teach, or provide feedback on that are at least as important as academic skills.
predictors of success
Research says that grit and self-control are the most important predictors of success. Together with the belief that abilities can be developed through dedication and hardwork (growth mindset) there is a kind of new mindset towards talent and success. Besides the beliefs young people have about their own intelligence, their self-control and persistence, the quality of their relationships with peers and adults is also an important factor of succes.
Further on, you can conclude that the success formula is more than high test scores. It included traits of perseverance built up through productive struggle–reinforcement to the advocates of social emotional learning, character development, and so-called 21st century skills.
belief in students
Students are no empty vessels. Most students are committed to make it happen, meeting their goals and doing quality work. It’s necessary to allow students to search for solutions and overcome obstacles. Students develop positive attitudes and beliefs about themselves as learners that increase their academic perseverance and prompt them to engage in productive academic behaviors.
While effort and dedication may be foundational characteristics for academic success, there are other attitudes key to success in the idea economy. In the idea economy entrepreneurially minded individuals are essential to economic growth. Entrepreneurial behavior matters to performance. Therefore more and more universities strive to educate students an entrepreneurial mindset in undergraduate degrees. Most of the frameworks are aimed at developing an entrepreneurial mindset, multidisciplinairy problem solving, productive collaboration, and integrity.
Imagines a world where creativity and entrepreneurship are core social values nurtured in schools, universities and communities. Students are taught to be creative thinkers and doers, encouraged to make their very best ideas happen. A more ‘maker’ kind of mindset. In the narrowest sense, the term ‘maker’ refers to a new category of builders using open-source methods, and new tools like 3D printers to move manufacturing from the factory to the desktop. More broadly, this new age hacking is related to the growing interest in learning to code and working as a freelancer. This is a result from the reality that many young people will need to ‘make’ a job not just get a job. Whether making a living, coding an app, or printing a gear, it’s the maker mindset—self-directed, purpose driven, and iterative.
The educational experiences that supports this kind of mindset is growing worldwide. Initiatives as Knowmads, KaosPilot, School 4.0 and minor programs like Tesla track and Da Vinci are good examples. The general experience can be described as: be user-centric, be curious, and iterate. In other words, embrace the fact that we’re preparing most students for jobs that don’t currently exist and try some new strategies. It’s about a culture of innovation in which you encourage students to have ideas and be explorative.
To offer the best education possible students should rigorously and regularly explore data, identify problems and challenges, develop and implement solutions, and then check back with the data. Together with feedback on your habits to success this kind of educational approaches have impact.