ETL 504 Module 3 Learning in the 21st Century

It’s confession time. Despite bandying about the terms 21st century learner and 21st century skills I really only have a vague idea about what this entails. Since it is part of an upcoming assignment and is integral to the new curriculum we are implementing at school next year and me expected to be a leader and all I thought it might be time to educate myself on what it all means.

A very tech savvy and inspiring colleague who appears to embody the principles of creativity sent me a link to a website called 21stcenturyschools.com whose author Anne Shaw had a lot to say about 21st century learning. Here are some points that interested me and sum up my learning.

Changing our schools to meet the demands of the 21st century requires a huge paradigm shift.

We should be preparing students for more than just workplace readiness

To do this we need a curriculum which is interdisciplinary, integrated and project based.

There are inspiring schools to use as models which encompass the critical attributes and multiple literacies of the 21st C. These literacies include multicultural, media, information, emotional, ecological, financial, cyber literacies and green education

Shaw quotes Tony Wagner from  the Global Achievement Gap who advocates 7 necessary skills:

  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Collaboration – networks-leading by influence
  • Agility and adaptability
  • Initiative and entrepreneurialism
  • Effective oral and written communication
  • Access and analyse information
  • Curiosity and imagination

At the ACARA website acara.edu.au.

I learned about:

3 Cross Curriculum Priorities

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures
  • Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia
  • Sustainability

7 General Capabilities

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Information and communication technology capability
  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Personal and social capability
  • Ethical understanding
  • Intercultural understanding.

So learning in the 21st century is clearly about much more than the 3 Rs .  It’s about a new curriculum and new pedagogy. It’s about knowledge creation not knowledge regurgitation. Hopefully there will be new assessment and reporting expectations as well.

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