21st Century Learning and the Need to Shift Our Thinking

Several of our posts refer to 21st century learning, technology, multi-literacies and thinking about today’s student and world. I (Yiola) found this article from the Huffington post called: The Global Search for Education: Education and Jobs quite interesting. The article talks about the need for drastic changes to our Educational systems in order to meet the growing demands of the market place in the 21st century. Bottom line, technology is taking over many of the jobs people currently do and so we need to reconsider the skills we are providing to students. The article goes on to say that our traditional and current systems continue to develop linear thinkers and producers but what we really need to develop are individuals with:

the ability to initiate, discern, persevere, collaborate, and to solve problems creatively are the qualities most in demand today and will be increasingly important in the future. The problem is that our education system was designed, primarily, to teach the three R’s and to transmit content knowledge. We need to create schools that coach students for skill and will, in addition to teaching content. If we don’t make this transition quickly, a growing number of our youth will be unemployable at the same time that employers complain that they cannot find new hires that have the skills they need.

I tend to agree with the article however I raise two points for discussion:
1)   Teacher education programs do teach to the creative, inquiry-based modes of pedagogy. I certainly cannot speak for all programs but I am familiar with several and teacher educators do work hard to teach pedagogies that meet the needs of today’s learners. So, why then are classroom teachers not teaching in these ways? Or, are they?
2)   I have seen time and time again policies and actual changes take place at the Government level but once changes happen in schools it is often society at large that is in an uproar. For example, here in Ontario we have implemented Full Day Kindergarten (early years) and the program is designed to develop higher level thinking right from the start. This transition, while happening, has not been without significant reluctance from the general public. What then do we do?

For more considerations here is the full article:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/c-m-rubin/the-global-search-for-edu_b_5084761.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s