We send our children to school to be prepared for an unknown future, for a lifetime of change. Acquiring knowledge will not guarantee success. They need a disposition to allow them to be ever resourceful to ride the waves of this change with curiosity, resilience, flexibility, imagination, the ability to be critical, reflective and make self-evaluations.
For example, I can show students how to evaluate web sites, but if they don’t feel that this evaluation process is important they will return to old habits blindly choosing the first sites that pop up on Google. I can expect students to use multiple resources in an assignment, but it is their curiosity that will motivate them to do that on their own. If they can’t find appropriate resources will they be resilient enough to brainstorm new ways to find the needed information? If they choose a specific thesis for their IB Extended Essay and then encounter conflicting information, will they have the adaptability to change their focus, revise their thesis or start again? Dispositions matter! After that first job interview, will they grab onto those habits learned of reflection and self-evaluation to be prepared for the next? When their field of study disappears, will they have developed the creativity to reinvent themselves?
We send our children to school to not only learn skills and acquire knowledge but also to develop the dispositions of learning that will carry them through the ups and downs of their lives.