“Great teachers engineer learning experiences that put students in the driver’s seat. Then, they get out of the way.” – Ben Johnson
To tap into the full intellectual potential of every learner and prepare them for the post-pandemic world, educators must help learners develop the essential next-generation skills needed to thrive. To do this, education must build a bridge between traditional and progressive learning. They must move beyond perpetuating the pedagogies of control, to facilitating learning experiences that empower the generations of today and tomorrow.
The 6 Modern Fluencies
The fluencies is an approach to teaching and learning that places a vital emphasis on the new skills students will need when they leave our schools to begin building their unique part of the future.
Each title of the fluencies is a link to an instructional video that provides a more in-depth explanation of each of the fluencies and their progressions. What follows is a brief overview of the modern fluencies.
Solution Fluency is the ability to think creatively to solve problems in real-time using the 9D’s process. The steps are: Define clearly the problem that needs to be solved, Discover the information that gives the problem context; Determine the target audiences and those who can help solve the problem; Dream a creative and appropriate solution; Design the process in measurable, achievable steps; Deliver the solution by both producing and publishing; Diagnose through the assessment and evaluation of both the process and the product; Debrief by identifying potential improvements and reflecting on what has been learned and achieved, and Decide on next the steps to make a difference both locally and globally.
Collaboration Fluency is the ability to collaborate seamlessly in both physical and virtual spaces, with real and virtual partners. Explain – groups collectively unpack the problem and describe, in their own words, what tasks they are required to complete; Establish – students identify the target audiences and establish group expectations, rules, and norms; Explore – gather information and resources. Envision –visualize and imagine a variety of possible solutions; Engineer a step-by-step plan laying out the process and timelines to accomplish tasks; Execute – learners create a product (Produce) and then deliver their solution to a determined audience (Publish); Examine – assessing both the product and process; Evaluate – reflecting on the product and process; Extend – acting upon these reflections.
Information Fluency is the ability to unconsciously and intuitively access and interpret information in all forms and formats, extract the essential knowledge, perceive its meaning and significance, and apply it to solve problems or complete real-world tasks. The steps are: Ask – learners define the scope of the task; Audience – identify the target audience; Access – the most relevant data utilizing good questions. Authenticate – validating all sources; Assemble – summarize and synthesize the information; Apply – use the data to solve the problem; Assess focuses on assessing the information fluency skills. Analyze – explicitly teach learners to become critical reflectors of the learning process. Action – utilize the new knowledge to take real-world actions.
Communication Fluency is the ability to communicate with text and speech in multiple multimedia formats. The 9Ps of Communication Fluency are: Pose – learners come to an agreement and develop a shared understanding of the message to be conveyed, the platform to be used, the medium best suited for the message, and the format of the presentation; Pinpoint – students identify the audience or audiences that will be the recipients of their message/information; Prepare – is the research phase of the process during which learners gather information about their intended audiences; Picture is the visioning process where learners brainstorm, imagine, and visualize possible modes and media to convey their message; Plan – students develop a simple roadmap designed to help team members understand their roles and responsibilities and set timelines as to when and how learners are going to achieve set goals; Produce – students put their plan into action by creating their product and presenting it to an audience; Probe is the assessment and evaluation step; Ponder is specifically allocated time for reflection; Pledge provides learners with an opportunity to make a difference by positively contributing to society.
Creativity Fluency is the ability to generate new and novel solutions to real-world problems. The steps are: Illustrate – students outline their understanding of what they are expected to accomplish; Identify – students determine their target audiences, which could be individuals or organizations. Inquire – learners access a range of resources to gather information to help them complete tasks. Imagine – is the brainstorm step where students develop as many ideas as possible for their solution; Initiate provides learners with a step-by-step process and identifies milestones in creating achievable deadlines to complete required tasks; Implement – There are two components to the Implement step – Produce and Publish. Students create their product/solution and then present it to their targeted audience; Inspect – students’ work is assessed; Investigate asks students to look back and reflect on the process; Inspire extends learning into the real world.
Global Citizenship is a learned process comprising a range of knowledge and skills. Global citizenship comes with responsibilities. All citizens must develop awareness about the various issues related to religions, cultures, traditions, values, perspectives, beliefs, and situations being faced daily by our fellow global citizens. Tolerance, understanding, acceptance, and sensitivity are all essential core values that need to be developed by all good citizens. Being successful in life takes more than just performing well at school. Our jobs as educators are to ensure that students develop moral characteristics, agency, and voice, which will help them build relationships and understand how their actions impact both themselves and the world.
The fluencies help learners see the relevance of what is being taught, and how they can apply these essential skills to their daily lives. Rather than exploring hypothetical situations or memorizing isolated, fragmented content from a textbook, the fluencies empower learners to put their skills and knowledge to practical use by designing and developing solutions and creating products that will be beneficial for communities and the world at large. For more information, read Literacy is Still Not Enough.