In his new book To Sell is Human, author Daniel Pink reports that education is one of the fastest growing job categories in the country. And with this growth comes the opportunity to change the way educators envision their roles and their classrooms. Guided by findings in educational research and neuroscience, the emphasis on cognitive skills like computation and memorization is evolving to include less tangible, non-cognitive skills, like collaboration and improvisation.
Jobs in education, Pink said in a recent interview, are all about moving other people, changing their behavior, like getting kids to pay attention in class; getting teens to understand they need to look at their future and to therefore study harder. At the center of all this persuasion is selling: educators are sellers of ideas.
Whether a teacher is presenting to her board or pitching a crowd of 12-year-olds on why Shakespeare was a genius, it’s all the art of persuasion. Though his new book has only been out a couple of weeks, Pink said he’s already received many messages from teachers who agree that, “Yes, I sell. I sell students on poetry, on calculus, on biology.”
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