4.Calculated Risk Taking: This phrase may almost seem like an oxymoron when combining the terms “calculated” and “risk taking”. However the ability to consider and weigh multiple options and mitigate potential negative outcomes before taking a risk is a skill that too many people only learn after a disastrous consequence. Metiri Group defines this skill as “the ability to carefully consider all the factors related to the decision being made, calculate the chances of a positive outcome and the consequences of a negative one, determine ways to reduce risks along the way, and then determine whether or not to take the risk based on this information” (Lemke, 2015). Many educators today are beginning to understand that failure should be viewed as part of a powerful learning process, provided it is accompanied by timely, targeted feedback. (Hattie, 2009). Rather than simply labeling the student as a failure, today’s savvy educator helps students to leverage failure as a means for making corrections, noting lessons learned in the process, and then moving forward with continued learning. One of the ways in which students can come to understand the process of calculated risk taking is to carefully examine real life case studies – with both positive and negative outcomes – to recognize the circumstances under which the risk was taken and to discuss and debate the merits of the decision.
5.Tolerance for Ambiguity: At first glance, it may seem that this particular skill is the opposite of “Evidence Based Thinking” as described above. The reality is that in a world that changes as rapidly as ours does today, sometimes all the evidence needed to solve a problem is not crystal clear nor readily available. It is essential that today’s students develop the skills to think through ambiguous situations and stay with the question – in a state of ambiguity – until they have the time to examine various aspects and perspectives on the issue. One way that educators can support students in dealing with ambiguity is to include in their assignments open-ended questions, where students are asked to provide multiple options for resolving a problem. This helps students to expand their thinking and dig deeper when an immediate answer is not obvious.
When we as educators set out to assure that all our students have the opportunities to master entrepreneurial skills as defined in the work of Metiri Group, we empower our students to not simply survive, but truly thrive in the world.
Ann McMullan is an educational technology consultant based in Los Angeles, CA who works throughout the United States and internationally as a speaker, writer, & consultant focused on leadership, professional development and curriculum for maximizing technology tools for learning.
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