Modern Learners

What is a modern learner? What makes a learner of today different from a learner from 20 or 30 years ago (or more)? They would have needed the same things regarding their own learning. Society and the job market may have dictated a different path, but wouldn’t they still have wanted to be autonomous back then? Wouldn’t they still have needed to be creative and innovative? I suppose that can be a discussion for another time, but it is still worth pondering as we move farther into this century and come face to face with the demands our world is putting on learners.

@Silvana_Hoxha via @Edudemic has shown us a neat little cartoon with “The 12 Must-Have Skills of Modern Learners”, and I have inserted it below.

The 12 Must-Have Skills of Modern Learners

How many of these are tangible, measurable qualities? Do they all need to be? Personally, I don’t think so. That brings up another question, though. How do we teach, or instill these qualities, in today’s learners? Or ourselves? I believe some of these are inherent characteristics of us as humans, and the others are the results of those inherent skills being developed. If we are born curious, we can use that curiosity and imagination to fuel our ability to think critically and problem solve. The issue is to have someone help us develop that ability using our natural skills.

My nephew is currently asking the question “why?” on a regular basis. He’s not yet three years old, and he’s into this already. How do we normally respond to that question? Do we respond differently given a person’s age? Granted, he sees it as a game most of the time, but when he doesn’t, he genuinely listens to your answer as he works out the language and repeats what you say. He is curious. He thinks about the situation and asks the question. He listens to the response, parrots it to be sure of what you said, and then often, he will proceed to interact with something within the situation to create a tactile learning experience for himself. Maybe I’m reading too much into it at this point, but I know he is learning, and I see some of these skills inherent in his process.

I will have to say that Empathy and Global Stewardship aren’t yet on his radar, but he’s on his way. Grit is there.

Are there attributes/skills/characteristics left off of this list? What are we born with and what must be purely developed?

Call the educational system what you like, and judge it how you will, but learners still have need of someone to assist in their development. Parents, teachers, the community and so on. There isn’t a way that one party can completely round out that list for a learner. Not without seeking the aid of someone else. The purposes of education are not complex. Complex to institute, maybe, but not complex as an idea. That is a topic for another post…the one titled 4 Purposes of Education.


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