Videos! Teaching the Skills That Matter

TSTM logoHello colleagues, Some of you might be familiar with the Teaching Skills That Matter (TSTM) project. If you are not familiar with TSTM, I want to invite you to check out the TSTM toolkit and the two videos, featuring the amazing Lia Olsen, that have been uploaded to LINCS. Lia teaches a multi-level ESL class in St. Paul, MN. The videos are brief (7 minutes). In one video, Lia is teaching a Project-based lesson, and in the other video, we see Lia teaching a Problem-based lesson to her class.

Last year was the pilot year for TSTM with 5 states participating. This year, 18 more states have come on board. The TSTM toolkit features amazing lessons plans that focus on 5 content areas that are relevant to the adults in our classrooms: digital literacy, civics education, financial literacy, workplace preparation and health literacy.

The project emphasizes the value and importance of integrating 9 central skills, i.e., skills that we all continue to hone throughout our lives, into daily instruction.

The 9 central skills include:

  • critical thinking
  • communication
  • processing & analyzing information
  • self-awareness
  • problem-solving
  • navigating systems
  • adaptability and willingness to learn
  • interpersonal skills
  • respecting differences & diversity

The ready-made TSTM lessons are designed using 3 approaches that research has shown to be effective and, as many adult educators know, these approaches are highly motivating to adult learners: Project-based Learning, Problem-based Learning and Integrated and Contextualized Learning.

Check out the TSTM toolkit and watch the videos, and let us know your thoughts! It would be great to hear from some TSTM participants here, too!

Take care, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, English Language Acquisition CoP