Since before the turn of this century the consensus amongst educators and employers has been that competency if not mastery of the four Soft Skills is the key to helping children survive, adapt, and prosper in the 21st Century Economy and must be prioritized in schools. These high-order, cognitive, ideation skills are: Critical Thinking, Effective Collaboration, Efficient Problem-Solving, and Clear Communication. 

Due to the continued emphasis in schools worldwide on measuring memorization skills and teaching-to-the-tests, these ideation skills are in short supply, and therefore in high-demand, and well paid. These vital life-skills are rarely taught explicitly. 

Here is the good news. Children already have the four ideation skills – Thinking, Collaborating, Solving, and Communicating – in their innate, hybrid toolbox, which they can enhance by those other hybrid skills in their toolbox – Questioning, Gameplaying, Storytelling, Pattern-recognition, and Imitation.

They just need coaching or guiding to make them flourish. 

The four Ideation skills – Thinking, Collaborating, Solving, and Communicating – can be thought of as the What; the skills which are on display when children or adults are working on an issue in a rules-based best practice. The Hybrid skills are the How; the underlying engines which operate to enable and harmonize thinking, collaborating, solving, and communicating. Multiple intelligences are the Why; the story a child or group of children reveal about why they believe their outcome is justified before revealing it to others using language, math, logical argument, spatial models, art, dance, music, meditated through an understanding of the relationships we all have with others, and the relationships we have with our own emotions, and nature. 

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Excerpted from my book Hybrid Learning.

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