Notes - Tony Wagner Presentation

September 16, 2009

Tony Wagner is co-director of the Change Leadership Group at Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is on the faculty of the Executive Leadership Program for Educators - a joint partnership of Harvard's Graduate School of Education, Business School and Kennedy School of Government. He is senior advisor to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

How Do We Stack Up Compare to Developed Countries
Literacy 15th out of 29 developed countries
Problem Solving 24th out of 29 developed countries
Science 21st out of 29
Math 25th out of 30


What Employers and Professors are seeing as college and work ready skills:
1. Writing
2. Work Habits
3. Motivation
4. Basic Math Skills
5. Curiosity
6. Respect

Seven Survival Skills for Careers, College, and Citizenship
1. Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving
2. Collaboration Across Networks and Leading by Influence
3. Agility and Adaptability
4. Initiative and Entrepreneurialism
5. Effective Oral and Written Communication
6. Accessing and Analyzing Information
7. Curiosity and Imagination

The information that came on-line between 1999-2002 is more than all previous known knowledge.
New economy is based on innovation


Theory of Change
Teachers working alone, with little or no feedback on the quality of their lessons, will not be able to improve significantly – no matter how much professional development they receive.

Cornerstones of Re-invention
Start with the 3Cs - Critical Thinking, Communication and Collaboration in every class/grade level
Every teacher on teams for collaborative inquiry
Video teaching, supervision and meetings
Every student has an adult advocate
Every student and teacher has a portfolio


The New 3-R's for the 21st Century Rigor, Relevance, Relationships
Rigor - Using what you know to solve new problems or to create new knowledge (application)
Relevance Helping student to understand why something is important
Relationship Students won't learn or work hard for teachers who do not respect them

Assessing the Effectiveness of a Lesson

Stated purpose - Students can articulate the purpose of lesson, connect it to prior and future learning.

Excellent instruction is less about what a teacher does and more about what students know and
can do as a result of the lesson (through KWL,journals and exit tickets constantly asking students
what they have learned and making connections to prior learning)

5 Key Questions to Ask Students
1. What is the purpose of this lesson?
2. Why is this important to learn?
3. In what ways am I challenged to think in this lesson?
4. How will I assess or communicate what I've learned?
5. How will I know how good my work is and how I can improve?

Reinventing the Education Profession
For Teachers
Work in small groups to analyze student data (looking at individual students, student work)
Develop and critique lessons collaboratively
Observe one another teach and peer coaching
For Principals
Share and critique School Improvement Plans
Discuss problems of practice and real case studies
Plan "problem solving" faculty meetings and seek feedback from teachers.
Contiunous communication with teachers on educational practice (individual and group)

Judy Jeffrey - Challenges to Iowa's Schools
Judy Jeffrey share data on Iowa schools (Achievement and graduation rates)