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by: Angela Maiers

The Habitude of Adaptability: Embrace Change

“It is not the strongest of the species that will survive, or the most intelligent. It is the one most adaptable to change.”- Charles Darwin

As Darwin observed, this sentiment holds true in both biology and education. The concept of adaptability is not new, but the pace and types of change we experience continue to grow rapidly.

“In a global economy, workers need to be increasingly adaptable, versatile, and tolerant of uncertainty in order to operate effectively and efficiently in these changing and varied environments.” (21st Century Learning)

Simply put, in our world, there is only one constant: change. And that’s why the adaptable will survive and thrive in times of change. 21st Century learners must be able to:

  • Respond favorably to change
  • Handle complexity
  • Critically and creatively solve problems
  • Be willing to take risks

Persistent adaptability allows students to respond rather than react, reflect rather than remember, and evolve rather than atrophy Imagine a world that never changes.

What would your life be like without the changes you have experienced over the last 20 years, 20 days…20 minutes? We have a love-hate relationship with change. On one hand, we greet innovation and new development with open hearts and hands. But when it comes to being the one having to do the change, change becomes an enemy.

Our students are no different. With steep learning curves thrust upon them, they cling to what is most comfortable. Adaptability for the learner is more than just serving change – it is using change as a growth opportunity. In fact, with anticipation of change, you can control change. This kind of development requires robust adaptability. The world opens up for adaptable learners, as they approach each task, each challenge willing to be a beginner, approaching their learning and life with a beginner’s mindset. These learners embrace challenge with openness, flexibility.

Those who don’t embrace change with adaptability usually get blind-sided by it.