21st Century Skills: Are We There Yet?
I write frequently about the need for the education community to embrace change in the ways parents, students, and employers view teaching and learning, partly because my experiences at the beginning of the 21st century made me a little pessimistic. Some say it was always like this.
In their book, Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology, Collins and Halvorson remind us that in the 1940s, fountain pens were an innovation that threatened to replace the nib (ink pen tip), much to the concern of their teachers. As late as 1987, there were teachers that wouldn’t accept assignments prepared on a computer and printed out, as teachers didn’t believe that students could have done that work on their own. And there is big debate even now regarding whether students still need to learn cursive writing.
I’m sure those examples are out of date now, but as the education landscape continues to shift almost daily, it’s important to note that the Common Core State Standards and the current ESEA waiver process also emphasize 21st century skills, making it more imperative to get aligned to them. I still think that the most clear and systematic overview and rationale has been advanced by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. Their P21 Common Core Toolkit is an important resource in bringing together Common Core and 21st century skills. Recently launched with a new look and feel, Renzulli Learning is another important tool for linking students’ interests, abilities, and expression styles to 21st century skills and Common Core standards.
And here is video I made recently that shows how CompassLearning Odyssey supports the framework of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills.
We’ve been in the 21st century for quite a few years now. We need to move forward.
Are you seeing movement toward more innovative teaching and learning? Share your stories here.
Trackback from your site.