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Sheri Edwards

Education Week: Backers of '21st-Century Skills' Take Flak - 0 views

  • Unless states that sign on to the movement ensure that all students are also taught a body of explicit, well-sequenced content, a focus on skills will not help students develop higher-order critical-thinking abilities, they said at a panel discussion here in the nation’s capital last week.
  • Array of Skills In the Partnership for 21st Century Skills’ vision for K-12 education, the arches of the rainbow depict outcomes, while the pools represent the resources needed to support those outcomes. But critics contend that states implementing this vision might focus too heavily on discrete skills instruction, at the expense of core content. SOURCE: Partnership for 21st Century Skills
  • Ten states have agreed to work with P21 to incorporate a focus on technology, analytical and communication skills into their content standards, teacher training, and assessments.
  • ...16 more annotations...
  • “We’ve been having this curriculum war for years.”
  • “Teachers will rise to the challenge given the kind of supports they need.”
  • “[But] the liberal arts movement, which we embrace, has not been as purposeful and intentional about the skill outcomes as we need to be.”
  • Mr. Willingham argued not only that the teaching of skills is inseparable from that of core content, but also that it is the content itself that allows individuals to recognize problems and to determine which critical-thinking skills to apply to solve them.
  • Students become proficient critical thinkers only by gleaning a broad body of knowledge in multiple content domains, he said.
  • Those techniques include student-directed methods such as project-based learning, which requires students to work in groups to solve a specified problem, relying on teachers for guidance rather than for explicit instruction.
  • Mr. Kay, in contrast, painted the P21 vision as one that transcends this debate. The partnership tries to encourage states to be more deliberative about how they help students learn the skills,
  • “If [curriculum] is just picking up a manual, or a series of nonconnected or nonsequenced experiments in science or literary works with no connection and no background knowledge, it’s not going to help our kids think any better,” she said in an interview.
  • Academics like Ms. Darling-Hammond said that setting forth a clear understanding once and for all about what students should know, and which teaching methods best help students engage that content in depth, will be crucial to putting such debates to rest.
  • The highest-scoring countries on international exams, she said, undertook efforts to outline such goals specifically 20 to 30 years ago. “When you really think about delivering a rich curriculum, it takes a very skillful type of teaching,” Ms. Darling-Hammond said. “It can be done badly; we have to acknowledge that. But we don’t really have a choice, if we want to join other nations.”
  • Meanwhile the critics go about squawking while promoting their own panaceas
  • he majority of kids just go right on tuning out, dropping out, or just getting by
  • I challenge what I read by looking at source material. These are timeless skills. It's the technology that is 21st century.
  • As for the topics we are unfamiliar with, the poster just before me rightly points out that the Internet is out there for just that purpose. Real teachers are also learners, and should be constantly seeking to know more.
  • Many recent studies have concluded that the current system is broken beyond repair and that point solutions like those being advocates above cannot fix it. We know that people learn best when they teach others so small groups that encourage peer-to-peer mentoring should be encouraged. Those same small groups require the students to learn and use the high-performance skills advocated by P21. At the same time, there is a body of knowledge that has been determined to be important to a student's future - represented by the state academic content standards. Robust, in-depth discussions of academic content help achieve the mastery of academic content. To ensure the content has meaning, it is best learned in a multi-disciplinary environment. By embedding a selected set of content standards from a variety of disciplines into a realistic setting/project the students get the opportunity to use the knowledge and go beyond the standards as their interest leads them.
  • The fact is, while "experts" pore over the fabric of pedagogical delivery methods, online teaching and learning is quietly replacing classroom environments globally. Educators better make some quick adjustments or the very definition of what an "education" means nowadays will make many of these folks irrelevant.
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    What do you think? How do we envision the future and teach for it?
David McGavock

Steve Hargadon: Rescheduled for May 11th - Interview with Hugh McGuire, Founder of LibriVox.org - 2 views

  • Hugh McGuire, the founder of LibriVox.org, the terrific crowd-sourced audiobooks service.  We'll talk Web 2.0, books, learning, and more in the context of thinking about education.
  • "I do bookish R and D on the web. I build webby things, and find out if people like them. I also write and speak often enough about media, publishing, the web, technology, mass collaboration, online community-building, open culture, copyright, in places like Huffington Post, Forbes.com, and O’Reilly Radar. I’m also editing an O’Reilly book about the future of publishing."
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    Join me Wednesday, May 11th, for a live and interactive FutureofEducation.com webinar with Hugh McGuire, the founder of LibriVox.org, the terrific crowd-sourced audiobooks service. We'll talk Web 2.0, books, learning, and more in the context of thinking about education.
Tero Toivanen

"Reboelje!" - Invisible Learning in the Netherlands | Education Futures - 12 views

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    The purpose of the Invisible Learning Tour is to raise awareness for the need for innovation in education.
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