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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Guthrie CSD’s Graduate Profile (Part 2): Effective Communicators

By Nelson Coulter

The BUSINESS of school is LEARNING!  At Guthrie CSD we have chosen a pathway of MORE for the learning of our students; more than the minimum requirements, more than the state’s curriculum, more than the tested standards.  Another of the five dimensions of the Guthrie Graduate Profile, which has emerged over the last several months as a commonly held aspiration for our students, is that we intend for our graduates to be:

Effective Communicators
They are/can/have:
       Confident and self-secure
       Communicate in an articulate, effective, and efficient manner
       Critical listeners
       Communicate by use of advancing technologies

In his book titled A Whole New Mind Daniel Pink makes a rather compelling case that the folks who have the best chance of achieving their life goals in the 21st century are those that can effectively engage, collaborate, and communicate with other individuals and groups.  The fundamental vehicle for successful interpersonal engagement is effective communication skills.

Faculty members at Guthrie CSD have determined to embed a purposeful curriculum of communication skills enhancement into our day-to-day business in order to help our students leverage the vast and rich opportunities that exist in our “connected” world.  We are convinced that our students must become skillful in expressing their own thinking through multiple media and skillful in listening to (and actually “hearing”) the messages of others.  In the words of the late Stephen Covey in his book titled The 8th Habit, we want our students to be successful in “finding their own voice and helping others find theirs.”  Through these deliberate instructional processes educators at Guthrie believe our students will develop more confidence and be more self-secure in the way they present (and think of) themselves.  When you think about it, what activity is any more cognitively challenging than carefully formulating and expressing one’s own thoughts, positions, opinions, and knowledge in a way that is crystal clear to others?

Our full intention at Guthrie CSD is to graduate students fully armed and prepared to compete in the world marketplace of work and school and life in a way that will make them the “crème of the crop” in any setting in which they choose to live and compete.

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