21st Century Learning

What is 21st Century Learning? It’s bold. It breaks the mold and it is learning that is flexible, creative, rigorous and complex. The 21st century was ushered in by a dramatic technological revolution. This revolution is having a dramatic impact on teaching and learning. One of our many challenges as educational leaders is “How do we make the paradigm shift to 21st Century education”.

Our kindergartners will be retiring in the year 2069. We do not know what the world will look like in five years, much less 60 years, AND we are charged with preparing our students for that world.images

21st Century curriculum is interdisciplinary, integrated, project-based, standards based and more. The author, Tony Wagner, sums it up in his book, The Global Achievement Gap, by summarizing seven survival skills our students will need to succeed:

  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
  • Collaboration across Networks and Leading by Influence
  • Agility and Adaptability
  • Initiative and Entrepreneurialism
  • Effective Oral and Written Communication
  • Accessing and Analyzing Information
  • Creativity and Imagination

Students must be able to research, analyze, synthesize, critique, evaluate and create new knowledge. There is no “one size fits all” blueprint. Each school must be designed with the students and the goals of the school and community in mind. There should also be full access to technology. Various labs and learning centers should be set up around the campus. The curriculum is not text book driven. Text books, if available, are just another resource. Assessment moves from regurgitation of memorized facts to demonstration of understanding through application in a variety of contexts. Real-world audiences are an important part of the assessment process, as is self-assessment.

How is your school adapting to 21st Century Teaching and Learning? Please let me know.

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