Seven Skills for Successful Lifelong Learning

Classroom of students practicing lifelong learning skills.

Harvard education specialist Tony Wagner believes we must reinvent the education system to promote innovation and drive job growth. In fact, he co-authored the book "Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era."

Wagner contends there are seven essential things students need to be successful lifelong learners. These skills, rather than academic content, should be at the heart of our education system:

  1. Formulate good questions

  2. Communicate in groups and lead by influence

  3. Be agile and adaptable

  4. Take initiative and be entrepreneurial

  5. Effective written and oral communication skills

  6. Know how to access and analyze information

  7. Be creative and imaginative

Wagner’s research found that the most influential teachers ran classrooms that emphasized interdisciplinary learning, real team collaboration, and risk taking. The focus was on creating learning as opposed to consuming knowledge, which cultivated intrinsic motivation in students. These teachers made room for playful exploration and student passions in the classroom, thereby helping their students to develop the purpose that drives them.

Read more in MindShift.