School of the Future: Develop Grit

In a previous post, I argued that school needs to reorient itself around helping learners to explore four essential questions:

  1. Who am I?

  2. Who are we?

  3. What matters to me?

  4. What am I going to do about it?

Questions 3 and 4 point to entrepreneurship as a key competency for our Age of Accelerations.

In Expeditionaries, we define “entrepreneurship”* as “creative and collaborative problem solving.”

You can read and watch videos about how to act like an entrepreneur, but in the end, you simply have to practice it. Which is why I was struck by this wisdom from one of my mentors, Tip O’Neill:

“In the context of entrepreneurship there are a gazillion good ideas out and about, but very few of them are successfully developed to full productive maturity. 

“Grit is very often the missing ingredient.”

Schools of the Past and Present focus on the the skills implied by the Four C’s: Collaboration, Creation, Critical Thinking, and Communication.

Perhaps we should think of the 4 C’s as table stakes.

The School of the Future will not only form learners who know “What matters to me,” but also help them to develop the grit to “do something about it.”


*Because Expeditionaries is about social entrepreneurship, we also include this qualifier at the end of the definition: “...on behalf of the Common Good.”


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