Wednesday, 8 March 2017
Understanding Thinking Skills and the Key Competencies
We are doing Mrs. Wallace's Robinson Crusoe Challenge at the moment. We had to decide on 'must have' items we would take if we were marooned on a tropical island.
This exercise requires critical thinking, but more importantly it highlights how Key Competencies are the threads that run through the fabric of our learning.
We worked in groups of three to do our initial brainstorming, and then we had to reduce our list to only ten critical items. This may seem simple ... especially if you were working as an individual and had total control, but we were working in collaborative groups.
Working in a group comes with its own set of problems. How do you ensure your views are represented? How to you ensure everyone feels included? What responsibilities do you have to work hard for the benefit of your group? How do natural leaders learn to help others to succeed (and rein in their natural tendency to dominate)? These skills are not just important when working at school, these are the skills that children will carry into real life.
The Key Competencies we talked about before working on this challenge were - Thinking, Relating to others, Managing self, and Participating and contributing.
Let's just say yesterday's noise level reflected the passion and determination of the kids to see their items included on the final list. It is really difficult to accept that others might have views that don't reflect our own. Learning to subdue our own views for the benefit of the group is a skill that takes time and needs to be practised.
We will eventually link this exercise into our 'Environment' work. The kids don't know it yet but when they are eventually rescued from this desert island they will be turning it into an eco-friendly resort. As caretakers of this 'piece of paradise' they will be responsible for ensuring its health and will need to consider how human impact could threaten or enhance this.
Buckle up, it could be a bumpy loud ride!