At St. Gregory, we are embarking on a vigorous effort to advance our school’s educational program in the direction of Tony Wagner’s vision of Schools That Work.  Like Wagner’s schools that work, we recognize the urgency of our students mastering a new set of skills for success and survival in this challenging new era. To facilitate this change in our student learning, we are setting out to lead not by directing new lesson planning, but by developing and implementing new tools for measuring and reporting our students progress in developing these skills.   We believe that what gets measured gets done.

So, it was with great delight this weekend that I saw emails from some fine St. Gregory teachers sharing their draft development of a new detailed rubric for Tony Wagner’s Seven Survival SkillsCheryl Pickrell in particular, a middle school English teacher here, took the lead, and I have pasted in her list below– and I invite any and all blog visitors to comment here on the blog to give us feedback (Please!)

Cheryl gives her acknowledgement to the inspiration and influence of a Connecticut teacher named Jackie Whiting who has published online some excellent rubrics.

(I also invite visitors here from other schools to use and adapt our rubric, just so long as you give acknowledgement to Cheryl Pickrell and St. Gregory College Prep.)

1. Critical Thinking / Problem Solving

  • Make connections
  • Perseveres (or doesn’t give up), Effort
  • Applies past knowledge to new situations
  • Offers thoughtful questions and comments
  • Takes time to reflect
  • Presses for break-through ideas

2. Collaboration, Leading by Influence

  • Open-minded
  • Works independently and interdependently
  • Builds trust
  • Cultivates both humility and confidence
  • Demonstrates integrity
  • Encourages and supports others
  • Cooperates, contributes, works for a common purpose
  • Connects people
  • Listens with empathy and to deepen understanding
  • Has global awareness
  • Has a sense of humor
  • Encourages and supports others
  • Responsible
  • Generous, unselfish
  • Reads widely (Truman said, “All readers are not leaders, but all leaders are readers.”)

3. Agility / Adaptability / Resilience

  • Willing to change
  • Sees challenges in life and academics as growth opportunities
  • Listens carefully
  • Develops respect and understanding of diverse cultures, ethnicities, religions, geographic regions, and social roles
  • Develops habits of a sustainable, purposeful, intentional life
  • Knows how to have fun

4. Initiative and Entrepreneurialism

  • Responds to the needs of society
  • Sets goals and describes steps needed to reach goals
  • Willing to take a stand
  • Desires to make the planet better
  • Responsible for own learning
  • Dedicated, determined, disciplined

5. Written and Oral Communication

  • Strives for clarity, substance, accuracy, and precision
  • Adjusts spoken, written, and visual language to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences for different purposes
  • Reads a wide range of print and non-print texts to acquire information and knowledge and build understanding of the human experience
  • Reads for pleasure
  • Skillfully employs the conventions of grammar and usage

6. Accessing and Analyzing Information

  • Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions and posing problems
  • Gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (print, digital, video, artifacts, people)
  • Determine reliability of sources (primary or secondary, fact or opinion, point-of-view, timeliness)
  • Document sources

7. Curiosity / Imagination / Innovation [You will see I had the most fun with this set!]

  • Develops and nurtures passions
  • Uses all of the senses to learn
  • Maintains a sense of awe and wonder in the presence of beauty and truth
  • Seeks life-giving ideas
  • Willing to take intellectual risks and try new things
  • Embraces life-giving ideas
  • Fearless in the face of entropy
  • Willing to examine personal strengths and weaknesses
  • Strives for elegance, simplicity, brevity, fluency, originality, harmony, and balance
  • Desires to move forward
  • Listens to renegades and dissidents
  • Moves forward with ideas to experiments and projects
  • Deconstructs orthodoxy to get unstuck
  • Open to a variety of points-of-view
  • Unafraid to be unconventional
  • Visionary but also practical
  • Not crippled by fear
  • Reflects and is open and honest
  • Understands mistakes are part of the creative process
  • Energized and exhilarated by new realities and challenges