Making It: What Today's Kids Need for Tomorrow's World

Making It: What Today's Kids Need for Tomorrow's World

by Stephanie Malia Krauss
Making It: What Today's Kids Need for Tomorrow's World

Making It: What Today's Kids Need for Tomorrow's World

by Stephanie Malia Krauss


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Discover how to help young people "make it" in a rapidly changing world

Author Stephanie Malia Krauss gets it. Every day she works with leaders across the country as they upgrade learning experiences to better equip young people for a changing world. A mother, former teacher and school leader, Stephanie knows firsthand how hard it is to balance school and program requirements with young people's needs. In Making It: What Today's Kids Need for Tomorrow's World, she lays out what adults can do to get young people ready for the future. What you learn may surprise you.

With so much changing so fast—accelerated by the impacts of COVID-19—the most in-demand jobs and skills of today may be obsolete by the time our youngest become adults. For kids to be ready for this new reality, they must acquire four critical "currencies" that will serve them well, whatever their future holds: credentials, competencies, connections, and cash. This book focuses on how to prioritize these four key outcomes whenever and wherever learning happens. The author shares research and experience to help you understand and apply a human-centered and future-focused lens directly to your classroom, school, program, or at home.

  • Learn about how the world and workforce is changing, and what that means for the education and preparation young people need
  • Understand how these changes are impacting young people, reshaping their childhoods and transitions into adulthood
  • Glean practical information and ideas you can use to help young people—at every age and stage—to gain readiness "currencies" in the form of credentials, competencies, connections, and cash
  • Challenge your beliefs about what knowledge, experiences and resources are most important for kids to have, and what a college- and career-ready education really requires
  • Discover community-wide strategies that prioritize equity, learning and readiness for the future

This book will benefit teachers, counselors, youth workers, parents, school board members, and state education leaders alike. Whether you work in K-12, youth development, or you just want to know how to best support the kids in your life, you will find a timely and useful resource putting young people first and modernizing their learning experiences for the better.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781119577034
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 03/03/2021
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 1,133,472
Product dimensions: 9.00(w) x 5.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

STEPHANIE MALIA KRAUSS is an educator, social worker, researcher, and writer. Her work focuses on what young people need in the first quarter of life, in order to thrive and be ready for adulthood. Stephanie is a senior advisor to JFF and a staff consultant for the Youth Transition Funders Group. She started her career as a fifth grade teacher in Phoenix, Arizona. A proud New Jersey native, Stephanie lives in the St. Louis area with her family.

Table of Contents

About the Author ix

Preface xi

Foreword by Karen Pittman xv

Foreword by Maria Flynn xix

Introduction xxiii

I A Changing World 1

1 Today’s Kids 3

2 Tomorrow’s World 21

II Life Currencies 51

3 Competencies 53

4 Connections 73

5 Credentials 91

6 Cash 109

III Currency-Building 129

7 Becoming a Currency-Builder 131

Acknowledgments 147

Index 151

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Krauss offers the roadmap we need to get kids ready for a rapidly changing and challenging world. Her call for every adult and educator to become a currency-builder is one we should take seriously. This is a must-read.”
—Arne Duncan, Managing Partner of Emerson Collective and former US Secretary of Education

“Smart and insightful! Stephanie Malia Krauss makes a compelling case for the new currencies kids need to thrive in our rapidly changing world.”
—Cal Newport, New York Times bestselling author of Digital Minimalism and Deep Work

“Krauss is an educator who knows that learning is not to be confused with schooling. She demonstrates brilliantly that complex ideas can be communicated clearly, and with some wit. Drawing on her own professional and personal experience, she shows in this lively book that academic qualifications are necessary, but far from sufficient. Being ready to 'make it' today requires skills and connections acquired far from the classroom. Inequalities in the first two decades of life echo through working lives; 'making it' has become a near-certainty for children born to affluent, educated, healthy parents but an ever-steeper challenge for those born to poor parents, and those facing the obstacles of anti-Black racism. Krauss wants making it to be a right, rather than a privilege. The hope animating this book is that we can find 'beauty in the brokenness' of our current moment. Timely, wise, and inspiring.”
—Richard V. Reeves, Senior Fellow at Brookings Institution and author of Dream Hoarders

“With her trademark blend of liveliness and concrete, realistic advice, Stephanie Malia Krauss writes about what the future holds for today’s kids – and what youth workers, families and allies can do to help prepare them. Easy to read, and with ideas you will return to.”
—Leslie Lapides, Senior Editor, Youth Today

“What will it take for children growing up today to ‘make it’ in a society that is changing so rapidly? Stephanie Malia Krauss’s magnificent book explores this important question and provides creative pathways to ensure a better future for our kids.”
—John Bridgeland, CEO of Civic and former Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council

“In Making It, Krauss powerfully equips parents, educators and policymakers to be currency-builders for young people facing tomorrow's ever-changing world. Kids need competencies, connections, credentials, and cash – whole-life solutions preparing them for long, livable lives. Krauss writes in a way that is crisp, engaging, and inspiring.”
—Anne Holton, professor of Education Policy at George Mason University and former Virginia Secretary of Education

“This eye-opening and inspirational book shares a treasure trove of creative perspectives that will change the ways we think about quality education. It should be required reading for educators, youth workers, parents, child advocates, and policymakers who want to understand today’s kids and implement innovative, practical strategies that prepare all young people to achieve well-being and success in tomorrow’s world.”
—Roger Weissberg, PhD, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Psychology at University of Illinois at Chicago and Chief Knowledge Officer for Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)

Making It is essential reading for anyone who is parenting and supporting young people in 2020 and beyond.”—Rhonda Broussard, CEO of Beloved Community

“It’s clear the old ‘checklist for adulthood’ doesn’t work. Krauss builds a credible case for competencies, credentials, connections, and cash as the new currencies of the innovation economy. Among prescriptions of what learners should know and be able to do, Making It is the first book that takes a whole person approach and deals credibly with the new economic realities and outlines strategies ‘where young people learn into currency-rich environments.’ The concluding chapter on Becoming a Currency Builder is a must-read for parents, teachers, youth-developers, and civic leaders – it’s a formula for building just, inclusive, and caring communities.”
—Tom Vander Ark, CEO of Getting Smart

“Anyone who aims to improve the ecosystems of children and youth will not only benefit from but will also enjoy reading Making It. Mayors, superintendents, healthcare providers, out-of-school time providers, community-based organizations, and many other who touch the lives of children will gain an important framing of what it takes for our kids to ‘make it’ in a rapidly evolving world. Thank you, Stephanie, for writing this readable and accessible book that will help us all serve kids better!”
—Bridget Rodriguez, Managing Director of EdRedesign at the Harvard Graduate School of Education

“In her new book Making It, Stephanie Malia Krauss delivers a wake-up call about the need to align the core of American education with the everchanging demands of the workplace. She lays out a compelling vision of the currencies that will be essential to adults in coming decades and argues persuasively for a wholesale reimagination of how we educate all students – from toddlers through adults seeking to upgrade skills. For a roadmap to a better future, dive into this book!”
—Ted Dintersmith, Founder of The What School Could Be Foundation

Making It is the book that Stephanie Malia Krauss was destined to write. With each page, she lays out a logical and comprehensive roadmap of what all of us need to do to ensure that our children enter a world for which not only they are prepared academically, but a world that reflects improved values, justice and human-centered priorities. Knowing Stephanie and having had the distinct pleasure of working alongside of her in creating better opportunities for Virginia’s children, this book does what she does so very well – it creates a vision of what could be and designs a process to actually make it happen. We owe it to our children, especially those underserved, to do all in our power to deliver to them a future that is full of promise, wonder and curiosity. Making It does just that. From my vantage point, there is no more time to waste. This book will inspire you to action. It did me.”
—Steve Constantino, internationally recognized speaker on family and community engagement; Executive Professor for the School of Education at William and Mary; author of Engage Every Family: Five Simple Principles; and former Chief Academic Officer and acting State Superintendent in Virginia

“A vision for today’s kids, a vision made actionable through science, case examples, personal stories, and inspiration. This is what Stephanie Malia Krauss has achieved in Making It. If you care about humanity, then Making It is for you – whether you are a parent, policymaker, voter, educator, or social worker. Our collective future depends on enacting the vision advanced in this book.”
—Amanda Moore McBride, Morris Endowed Dean and Professor of the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver

Making It is an important source for understanding the multiple challenges facing today’s children and youth, and how successfully to assure their learning and development. In our rapidly changing world, it provides a framework for building currencies that provide pathways to success of all children in school and life.”
—Mark Ginsberg, Provost and Executive Vice President of George Mason University, and former Dean of the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University

“In a world with so much uncertainty, Making It makes loads of sense. Stephanie’s honest and just approach to currency-building changes the calculus of an unfair system to a whole-life approach about well-being developed overtime and not by time.”
—Elliot Washor, Co-founder and Director of Big Picture Learning

“We know it’s not just about academic achievement, but what else do young people need to make it in today’s complicated world? Stephanie Malia Krauss carefully and clearly lays it out: an interwoven set of competencies, network of connections, recognized credentials, and necessary financial resources. Unarguably, these ‘currencies’ are harder to come by for Black, brown, and indigenous young people, and others whose experiences and identities our white-centered systems were designed to disadvantage. If you believe every kid is entitled to make it, this book will challenge you to become a ‘currency-builder’ – and show you how to do it.”
—Kathleen Traphagen, Lead Facilitator of Grantmakers for Thriving Youth and Grantmakers for Education’s Out-of-School Time Impact Group

Making It is a uniquely powerful book, offering a clear, concrete roadmap for parents and educators who want to equip our children to lead fundamentally meaningful lives amidst the overwhelming pace of economic, technological, and social change. As 2020 draws to a close, Stephanie’s compelling Life Currencies framework could not be more timely as we focus attention, in earnest, on remodeling our institutions for a more hopeful and just future.”
—Cyrus E. Driver, Senior Director, Partnership for the Future of Learning

Making It is a must-read for anyone trying to navigate the complexities of education in the 21st century. The book weaves together research on the future of work and the future of learning with decades of research on human development and social mobility, not to mention Krauss's firsthand experiences in policy and practice. The result? Making It paints a detailed picture of what students will need for a future of thriving.”
—Julia Freeland Fisher, Director of Education Research at the Clayton Christensen Institute and author of Who You Know: Unlocking Innovations that Expand Students' Networks

Making It positions today’s students and families importantly as consumers in the education market, who must now make sense of the more than 700,000 credentials out there and adopt new mindsets about what it means to prepare for an increasingly uncertain world of work ahead.”
—Michelle R. Weise, author of Long Life Learning: Preparing for Jobs that Don't Even Exist Yet

“Make this book your required reading for 2021. In Making It, author Stephanie Malia Krauss labels the state of today’s volatile and unpredictable times as ‘the overwhelm.’ Stephanie frames this century’s grand American challenge as ensuring young people ­– all of them, especially children of color or those living in impoverished homes – gain what they need to thrive, not just survive, as adults. She lays out a reimagined educational path delineated by social and economic justice to enable all young people to navigate toward currency-driven success in life as they acquire competencies, cash, connections, and credentials. Making it defines a social contract to educate all learners well – a contract that’s long overdue.”
—Pamela Moran, executive director of the Virginia School Consortium for Learning and coauthor of Timeless Learning

“If you fear the current education system is outdated, Making It is a must-read to deliberately create mind space to reimagine what is possible. It offers honest insights about future trends and disruptions, including questioning the value of current qualifications like the high school diploma toward meaningful credentials. It asks for revamping graduation requirements and rethinking meaningful credentials on what a valuable high-quality diploma might look like. This requires recognizing, undoing, and correcting the persistent inequities that harm kids in today’s traditional education system focused on ranking and sorting kids, as well as stopping damaging privilege hoarding. It challenges adults to do the important work of grappling with uncertainties and turning to science on youth development to provide new opportunities through educational and economic pathways.”
—Susan Patrick, CEO of Aurora Institute

“There are deep chasms in the opportunities young people have to accrue the currencies Krauss so clearly describes in Making It. Her book brings the study of youth development into current times. My blended family of three adolescent boys will benefit from me having read this, and my advocacy with state and local policymakers across this country will also surely benefit. This should be required reading for anyone shaping public policy beyond 2020.”
—Elizabeth Gaines, Founder and Director of Children’s Funding Project

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