The best way to predict the future is to create it. —Peter Drucker
When President John F. Kennedy delivered a 1962 speech in Houston, Texas, motivating Americans to support the mission to land a man on the moon, he stated, “We choose to go to the moon not because it is easy, but because it is hard.” The sense of urgency his speech invoked—to explore new frontiers, to embrace innovation, and to create our own destiny—resulted in the successful Apollo 11 mission.
Educators: As we consider our 2019 goals, now is the time to take our shot at going to the moon. A moonshot is firmly focused on the future and will drive your organization to realize what is possible by addressing a problem, proposing a solution, and leveraging resources and best thinking to achieve the goal. Below I’ve laid out three key moonshot areas that, based on their impact for student learning, engagement, and growth, I encourage us to embrace for 2019 and beyond. We are creating the future, one child at a time.
1. Deeper Learning for ALL
To better prepare students for the future, we need to focus on the competencies and skills that will be required for success in college, career, and life. The Future of Jobs report, published by the World Economic Forum, outlines the top 10 skills needed for 2020 graduates, and at the top of the list is complex problem solving.
We must move beyond the rush to cover content for a standardized test and instead design deeper learning experiences where all students are provided opportunities to grapple with big ideas, challenges, and issues. These experiences must not be reserved for the gifted students or those who are taking higher level coursework. Learning experiences that are authentic, relevant, and involve real-world problem solving should be the foundation of our curriculum.
The design is first and foremost standards-based and leveragesto create a learner-centered instructional model. We need to reimagine the learning experience, environment, and culture to focus on higher expectations for all students to become not just ready to thrive in the future but also truly ready for anything!
2. Social-Emotional Learning
It is hard to consider social-emotional learning a moonshot, as it is more of a moral imperative. But I list it as a moonshot because it is a long-term goal that requires us to reconsider our role as educators. We have always been focused on academics, but we now have to more intentionally balance addressing the well-being of our students. Weaving social and emotional learning into the fabric of our schools is just the beginning and addresses, in large part, the foundation of relationships and connecting with each student. We must educate the heart and the mind to help students navigate the world more effectively.