The key concept in all these initiatives is collaborative design. Collaboration and design have been increasingly promoted and explored in the years following the emergence of the WWW mostly because of the alignment of network technologies, a growing interest for the socially situated and communal nature of work and learning, and the development of design-based research as a promising approach to foster innovations in education. The notion of “communities of practice” has certainly provided useful conceptual tools to understand teaching as composed of a joint enterprise, a shared repertoire of knowledge and artifacts, and mutual engagement in community activities, roles, and relationships.
The Framework presents a holistic view of 21st century teaching and learning that combines a discrete focus on 21st century student outcomes (a blending of specific skills, content knowledge, expertise and literacies) with innovative support systems to help students master the multi-dimensional abilities required of them in the 21st century.
Disconnects between policy mandates/supports and desired practice were found in most of the schools and all of the systems in our sample. For example, teachers were often being asked to innovate while being incented and judged solely by measures of the facts that students had acquired through traditional means, or given ICT to use without related curricular materials and models for ways to use it powerfully and effectively in subject matter learning. It was rare that teachers experienced standards, curriculum, professional development, assessments, and incentives that all aligned to support the development of students’ 21st century skills.