Skillshare: The Penny Conference (Tony Wagner: Creating Innovators)


Education as we know it is prefaced on the idea of knowledge scarcity, but this is no longer the case. The periodic table, number of planets, capitals of countries have all changed since we were at school.
There is no competitive advantage to knowing more than the person sitting next to you. The competitive advantage comes from what you can do with that knowledge.

Do you have the skill? Do you have the will?

What skills are important today?
Book: The Global Achievement Gap:

This is an AWESOME video.

Core competencies for the 21st century:

  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Collaboration across networks, leading through influence
  • Agility and adaptability
  • Initiative and entrepreneurship
  • Accessing and analysing information
  • Effective written and oral communication
  • Curiosity and imagination

What is required for someone to become an innovator? Wagner interviewed innovators, parents and teachers. For a

The teacher who made the greatest difference in an innovator's life was often an outlier in their institutions. There were similarities between their teaching styles. The culture of schools is radically different from the culture required to produce innovators:

  • Individual achievement (innovation is a team sport. problems too complex)
  • Specialisation. There is no such thing as a content division. Multiple perspectives
  • Highly risk averse. We penalise mistakes; we don't encourage risk-taking. Talk about iteration, not failure.
  • Learning is passive. We consume information, we don;'t create it.
  • Extrinsic incentives. Carrots and sticks, As and Fs. Innovators are intrinsically motivated.

Play > Passion > Purpose
Fewer toys; toys without batteries; more unstructured time. The pursuit of a passion is fundamental to the creation of innovators.

We need to understand:
Have to transition to an innovation-driven society. The consumer society is bankrupt. We need to do this with young people. A different vision for education is required. A sense of urgency.
The system is broken. It needs reinvention, not reforming.

We need to talk about two very important ideas: skill and will.

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