Saturday, March 26, 2011

Preparing for the 21st Century Ten Years On

Reflections on a reading from Education Today - author tbc

Pondering on what I do each day in the classroom. Am I teaching the children how to think or am I teaching them what to think. I would really like to be certain that it is the former rather than the latter.

We have talked about this a lot in class - and over the years. It's always something that has interested me. I don't want the students I teach to look to me for the answers, I may not have them. I don't want them to take what I say as gospel, it may not be so. I don't want them to give up on a task or do it a certain way just because they think it is the way I want it done, my thoughts, like theirs may and should change.

I loved the following quote as it really rang true with my beliefs about teaching and learning:

"While it is true '21st century skills' do have to do with adapting to new technologies effectively it has much, much more to do with being able to think deeply about topics, solving complex problems, and being capable of synthesising information to form new solutions. If kids go through school unable to practise these skills, then everything else has been for naught." (p 24)

Being a 21st century learner is not just about the ICTs - they are just tools. If our students and we as teachers, haven't got the skills of the Key Competencies to back up the use of the tools, then we lose the potential, relevance and meaning of what being a true 21st century learner is and can be.

As teachers and learners, we "...cannot abandon our efforts to give our students what they will need to help them be successful in learning and life, (no matter what our frustrations may be)." (p 25)

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