What Teachers Want Students to Learn


A year or two ago, I asked my colleagues this question: ‘What three things do you most want students to learn in your class?’ Below are the summarized results. They make for some very interesting reading, and for me reveal how most teachers know that the lasting effects of a good education are about so much more than what is in the syllabus. Proof, yet again, that there is wisdom in crowds!

This was by no means a comprehensive survey. It was just my school. But I do think the question would yield similar results in most centers of education around the world.

(Why not scroll immediately to the bottom of this post and add your answers to the question ‘What three things do you most want students to learn in your class?’ so that we can see if your answers are similar to these. If you are going to do this, please don’t read the post first… it would be nice to get a ‘cold’ result!)

(The only editing I have done is to delete the repeated sentiments.)

What Three Things Do I Most Want Students to Learn in My Class?

  • The ability to adjust to change on the spot, and the flexibility to move on to plan B, C and then D if needed.

  • The acceptance that life is about choices – they can choose to be happy, choose to be successful, choose to be challenged, and choose a life worth living.

  • Resilience.

  • Responsibility.

  • Creativity.

  • Integrity.

  • Appreciation of their own personal talents / abilities.

  • Compassion for themselves and other people, creatures, and nature and the willingness to make a positive contribution.

  • Humility: The most successful people I know today are humble. It is through humility that we are able to accept new ideas and learn from all experiences.

  • Sense of Self: Strength in the self will empower any individual to reach greatness.

  • Passion for growth: For without passion, nothing is attainable.

  • Honesty.

  • Tolerance.

  • To question the status quo and not accept things at face value.

  • The confidence to develop and grow to be the people they want to be.

  • Knowing that success comes through engaging with ordinary dedicated people.

  • Care for the community.

  • Desire for knowledge and to find things out!

  • Independence.

  • The ability to think.

  • Ethical behaviour.

  • A love of learning.

  • That words and ideas are powerful.

  • That you are never too old to have fun.

  • The ability to find and analyse, and not necessarily to know.

  • The ability to substantiate and motivate arguments.

  • Realising that there is no formula for success. The only way to happiness is for them to explore their own talents and passions and then have the courage to follow their hearts.

  • Learning to think globally and to see connections so that they can wake themselves up from what is often a narrow, numbed existence.

Not bad, huh?

Now you…

Don’t forget to look me up on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/SeanHCole


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