“Learning and innovation skills are what separate students who are prepared for increasingly complex life and work environments in today’s world and those who are not”. –Partnership for 21st Century Skills
The world is like a speeding train and education is like a bicycle trying to race it. It seems like we will never catch up. We are just going to keep peddling until we get too exhausted to go on. When that exhaustion hits, we go back to the old ways of doing things and say it is too hard to go on. As for myself, I am going to keep peddling. I am peddling for my past students, my current students and my future students.
We need to become energized again. Teachers need to get excited about what they are teaching.
We need to wake up!
Teaching used to be linear. (I say “used to be” loosely because some teachers are stuck with that mindset).You teach math, close your math books, get out your reading books, close your reading books, go to recess, etc. But there are teachers out there who are turning their classrooms into exhilarating, challenging and non-threatening environments where their students are growing. Their students are being shaped to become respectful, contributing members of today’s world. A framework called the 21st Century Skills has been out since 2004, but I believe it has become more prevalent with the way the world is rapidly changing around us.
Teachers can no longer talk at their students and blame the students on the outcome of their grades or test scores. We need to partner with our students to give them the skills they need to join this society. The 21st Century skills give an outline, an explanation and resources to change the face of education. It may sound crazy, but I agree with everything that P21 says.
P21 gives an outline of what students are going to need when they get out into the real world. (They work alongside the Core Standards provided by each state).
Learning and Innovation Skills
Information, Media and Technology Skills
Life and Career Skills
We need to be teaching these “lifeskills” through our academic lessons. We can no longer hope that our students are getting the skills they need from basic linear lessons. With everything technology has to offer us, we have the opportunity to enhance our lessons so they incorporate what the 21st century skills suggest.
Check out this video I found on 21st Century Skills made by high schoolers in a Social Studies class. This pretty much sums it up.
To get a better understanding of what this framework is all about, check out Partnership for 21st Century Skills.
I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on this topic!