My PDS Challenge: Those 10 Ten Most Important Skills and How They Are Learned

Disruptive changes to business models will have a profound impact on the employment landscape over the coming years. Many of the major drivers of transformation currently affecting global industries are expected to have a significant impact on jobs, ranging from significant job creation to job displacement, and from heightened labour productivity to widening skills gaps. In many industries and countries, the most in-demand occupations or specialties did not exist 10 or even five years ago, and the pace of change is set to accelerate. By one popular estimate, 65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist. In such a rapidly evolving employment landscape, the ability to anticipate and prepare for future skills requirements, job content and the aggregate effect on employment is increasingly critical for businesses, governments and individuals in order to fully seize the opportunities presented by these trends—and to mitigate undesirable outcomes

Executive Summary: The Future of Jobs and Skills

Ok so change is coming. Big change. And it will have a big impact on the lives of the students now enrolled in our schools.

Take a look at this chart from the Future of Jobs report from the World Economic Forum 2016.

10 skills

The report asked chief human resources and strategy officers from leading global employers what the current shifts mean, specifically for employment, skills and recruitment across industries and geographies. It’s far from an exact science of course. And predictions of any sort have a tendency to be off the mark. But let’s take it at face value for a moment and contemplate the changes and look at the shifts.

Complex Problem Solving stays at number one but Creativity has zoomed. Active Listening is gone and Cognitive Flexibility makes an appearance. Emotional Intelligence has replaced Quality Control.

I don’t think you have to persuaded by the arguments and analysis of the WEF to acknowledge that these are key skills and aptitudes. And further that schools should establish the conditions within which students can best develop them.

At PDS I think you can see them at work in learning spaces from pre-k through 12th grade. I think you can see classrooms where teachers have created the conditions for children to develop these skills. And they have created the frameworks within which children can safely take the risks to challenge themselves and become intellectually and emotionally immersed in activities that call upon and strengthen all of these skill areas.

So here is the challenge I am setting myself: Go find examples and document them. It’s not a hard or onerous task. It’s just making the time to do it. And that’s easy. Right?



  1. Brian:

    That’s something to look forward to!

  2. David Held:

    Stop by the class, Art & Technology – Processing Programing. It just started, so give it a week or 2. You’ll see 1-3 in action.

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