Educational Discourse
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Educational Discourse
Discussion of education and related topics
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Rescooped by Kelly Christopherson from 21st Century Learning and Teaching!

New Vision for Education_Report2015

Especially check the TOPIC <===> Chapter 1: The skills needed in the 21st century <===> #eSkills!

Learn more:

Via Manuel Pinto, Maria José Brites, Rui Guimarães Lima, Miloš Bajčetić, Mark E. Deschaine, PhD, Gust MEES
David Witzeling's curator insight, April 6, 2015 7:22 PM

This is a lengthy article detailing the relationship between 21st century skills and the adoption of technology as a way to promote growth in those skill areas. If you are here, you might find this very much "preaching to the choir," but the article provides a solid basis for understanding the need to integrate technology into education.

Melina Dayana Calizaya Torres's curator insight, April 6, 2015 10:19 PM


Dr. Deborah Brennan's curator insight, April 7, 2015 2:19 PM

The World Economic Forum has published a new white paper called New Vision for Education: Unlocking the Potential of Technology; the link for the full report is included at the end of this article.  The World Economic Forum is a not-for-profit international institution headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.  Although the focus of this report is worldwide, the gaps in identified twenty-first century skills are very applicable to schools in the USA.  In a powerful statement, the report says: “By the time students enter college and the labour market, deficiencies that have not been addressed earlier can be far more difficult and costly to remedy.” (p 8-9).

The report differentiates 21st century skills among foundational literacies, competencies, and character qualities. It sees foundational skills as what schools and systems traditionally teach and measure: literacy, numeracy, scientific literacy, instructional-communication technology literacy, financial literacy, and cultural and civic literacy.  Competencies sited include critical thinking/problem solving, creativity, communication and collaboration. While curiosity, initiative, persistence/grit, adaptability, leadership, and social and cultural awareness are included in a category called character qualities.  Appendix 1 includes definitions of 21st century skills.

The instructional cycle is referred to as a “closed loop” in this report. Beginning with clear learning objectives through the development of curriculum and instructional strategies to instructional delivery, ongoing assessment, interventions and the tracking of learning outcomes in a repeating complex system.  The report looks at ways that technology can be embedded into each step of the instructional loop to improve student learning outcomes and eliminate the skill gap, providing some resources that might be used at different phases of the cycle.

The report cites differences in the use of technology tools to close the skill gap, looking at different income levels among countries which create different contexts and stating that there are fundamental social and economic problems, such as poverty, that impede learning and underlie the skills gap. Although the deficiencies in many undeveloped countries far surpass those found in the United States, it is my perspective that there are different contexts within the United States itself that must be acknowledged and addressed.

The importance of creativity, problem solving and innovation to the economic well-being of our nation and therefore, the employability of our workforce cannot be stressed enough. The pressure of standardized testing can lead to a standardized curriculum and instruction model that does not allow  the classroom time for these skills to develop. Teachers caught in this dilemma are often driven to insure success on state tests at the cost of providing time for experimentation, reflection, and collaborative feedback. The report does suggest using technology for some of the foundational skills in order to free teacher time to provide instruction on competency and character skills.

In two of the examples from low income countries, technology was used to provide scripted lessons that were created centrally  to under-trained teachers. My preference would be to  more fully train teachers or provide a mentor/coach rather than a “turn the page” curriculum model.

One of the tenants of the article is the need to define and find a metric to assess each of these 21st century skills in order to compare countries skill level. Although I agree with the need to define the skills needed and provide training and resources to teachers so these skills can be embedded into the curriculum and instruction, the idea of an assessment to measure creativity or persistence fills me with dread. Paul Torrance developed a well-used test for creativity used to screen students for school gifted and talented programs.  It is not a test that can be administered and interpreted without training. The idea of administering a standardized test which by definition is convergent in thinking to measure a thinking skill that is divergent by definition seems inappropriate and a major shortcoming of this report.

Rescooped by Kelly Christopherson from 21st Century Learning and Teaching!

Personalized PBL: Student-Designed Learning

Personalized PBL: Student-Designed Learning | Educational Discourse |
Project-based learning may be the best vehicle for personalized learning as teachers move beyond "course-based" approaches and open the way for student-designed curriculum.


Not every teacher may be ready to jump into this type of personalization. To make it work, they'll be required to adopt a different teaching role. They'll need strong management skills and a commitment to disruptive innovation. In addition, the current constructs of the education system may hold us back. What if we could make this dream of personalized PBL a reality?

===> I say that we work toward it, creating a push on the system that demands change in the education of our students. <===

Via Amy Burns, Dean J. Fusto, Gust MEES
Kelly Christopherson's insight:

PBL is one way to approach the way to organize the learning for students within the classroom. The use of different tools allows for the development of student-driven designs for learning and provides teachers with the opportunity to allow students more direction in their own learning. 

Kim Flintoff's curator insight, August 21, 2014 9:13 PM

An art teacher and I (drama teacher) started to use a negotiated approach with students about 15 years ago.  By working with students to be aware of curriculum expectations and discussing "what would this look like" we assisted students with developingntheir own learnign pathways and expressions of their learning - in keeping with the legislated requirements of curriculum.  I've also noted over the years that elements of the International Baccalaureate - particularly the project work from MYP - reflects a similar approach.

Without reference to research literature, I'd speculate that this speaks to engagement, authenticity and relevance... and needn't be confined to K-12 contexts.... well-documented project work could be conducted outside the confines of formal classes and evidenced against formal assessment criteria.

Durriyyah Kemp's curator insight, August 22, 2014 11:10 AM

Project-Based Learning is a great vehicle for allowing student to gain social and emotional learning (SEL) skills.  The five core competency skills for SEL (self-awareness, social awareness, relationship skills, responsible decision-making, and self-management) can be easily integrated into any project-based learning opportunity.

Edgar Mata's curator insight, August 25, 2014 12:48 AM

El alumno determina los proyectos en los cuáles va a trabajar.


La gestión es compleja pero los resultados lucen prometedores.