October 18, 2016
Predictions for the Students of Tomorrow
The following is inspired by Four Predictions For Students' Tomorrows by Erik Palmer.
Last week I started a series on Predictions for the Students of Tomorrow. The first prediction was There will Still Be an Internet.
Here is Prediction #2: Salespeople will still exist.
Again, here are the author's thoughts combined with mine...
It won't matter if we are selling the latest and greatest geniusphone, virtual reality glasses, or holodecks to homeowners, (Yes, geniusphones are different than smart phones and holodecks are a real thing!), the sales profession will remain. The art of argument, persuasion and rhetoric will still be in high demand. Maybe even more so than they are today.
Students will need an understanding of how to refine their own logic and reasoning. They will need mad persuasive techniques. Students will need to know the definition of argument: statements leading to a conclusion. And, how to evaluate and argument (Does the statement force us to accept the conclusion?) as well as how to support statements with the five types of evidence: facts, numbers, quotes, examples, and analogies. Students need to know how to recognize reasoning errors and how to avoid confusing causality and correlation as well as stereotyping.
Assigning argumentative writing is not the same as teaching argumentative skills. So, how do we make time and space for this kind of teaching and learning in our classrooms? We might start with choosing those standards that are essential learnings for students and using content as a springboard for this kind of work. We create time for students to read, write think and talk and we use the Framework for Intentional Teaching components, especially Modeling, Guided Practice and Collaborative Learning. We begin with content (the purpose) that students find relevant. We then model how to create strong statements with evidence that lead to a conclusion, we allow students to practice (A LOT), and we provide feedback (through prompting, questioning and cueing) during the practice to scaffold learning and guide students to develop stronger skills.
While many reading this will think this is "secondary schools" work, this work begins in Kindergarten. Yes, it looks different, but 6-year-olds are the best at stating why they want what they want! Let's use their natural ability to question and argue and teach them how to be more convincing. In the book, Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master a skill. If we want students to master the skill of persuasion, we must start when they enter school and continue until graduation.
Having an opinion and supporting that opinion is something we do as adults daily. We all know people who can support their thinking and we all know people who can't. Let's teach our students the skills necessary to support their thinking and if they happen to end up selling geniusphones or holodecks, let's set them up to be a success!
Next week, Prediction #3: Listening will still be important...
Have a Great Week!
*find the full article here: Educational Leadership, March 2016
The Art of Persuasion
Are your students skilled in the art of persuasion? If so, we'd like to come film your class to add to our own bank of teaching practice videos. Contact Robin Bossinger for more information.