When I realize that I’ve come across a recommendation for a book in more than one place, it seems a sure sign I should read it. In this case, Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era by Tony Wagner and Ted Dintersmith, the book, was on my reading list for quite a while from various sources. I had even checked it out from the library twice but not managed to read it. Then I heard that our superintendent would be showing the documentary with the same name to both the teachers and parents in our school district. So I bought the book and started reading it.
I realized too late that if I hadn’t read much of the book I might be able to be a better judge of what the documentary does and doesn’t show. However, I probably already had no hope of that. I’m enough dissatisfied with the status quo, and I’ve been researching this long enough, that I’m ready for a change. There’s no way I can come to this documentary, or the book, with an unbiased view.
That said, the approaches toward education in the book and in the documentary, Most Likely to Succeed, come the closest in proposing ways in which we can educate children in characteristics that lead to success and innovation, such as grit, creativity, and learning how to take risks that I’ve seen. Maybe more importantly, if implemented correctly, it presents the possibility that education could address failure as a constructive and learning process rather than failure that dooms you. And to do this, you can’t get a low grade when you get the answer “wrong.”
In this series of posts I’ll be looking at the documentary, Most Likely to Succeed.
Article series and review of Most Likely to Succeed
- Most Likely to Succeed Documentary Review and Discussion – Part 1/11
- I hate school – Most Likely to Succeed, Part 2/11 Does your kid hate school? Do kids they really hate it because they have to work hard and they are lazy, or is there another reason?
- How important is doing well in school to success? – Most Likely to Succeed Part 3/11 Have you told your kid that it’s for important so they can get a good job? How important is doing well in school to success?
- We don’t need human calculators, so why are we training them? – Most Likely to Succeed, Part 4/11 Our education system was designed to train workers for jobs that are being replaced by machines. It’s outdated.
- Fear of Failure in Education – Most Likely to Succeed Part 5/11 Schools are as much afraid of failing the test as students are, in spite of it not being a guarantee of success.
- High Tech High – Most Likely to Succeed Part 6/11 In search of a new model for teaching, an alternative to memorizing facts and to regurgitate them on tests – High Tech High.
- Project Based Learning – Most Likely to Succeed Part 7/11 Most Likely to Succeed presents the best solution I’ve seen to the problems of run-away tests and hours of homework – project based learning.
- Grades – What are they for? Most Likely to Succeed Part 8/11 What do student grades mean? Are they a measure for improving learning? Or a way to rank kids against each other so we can identify the “best” kids?
- The problems with group projects – Most Likely to Succeed Part 9/11 For group projects like those portrayed at High Tech High in Most Likely to Succeed, schools will have to structure, teach and grade projects differently.
- Cut the School Curriculum – Most Likely to Succeed Part 10/11 To change learning to be more in-depth the way it is presented in Most Likely to Succeed, we’re going to have to cut the school curriculum.
- Most Likely to Succeed – Learn more Part 11/11 Change the antiquated structure of education to prepare students for jobs and create happier, healthier, more creative individuals.