Put these 21st century skills in order of importance: Digital Age Literacy (incl. global awareness, scientific and economic literacies): Effective Communication (incl. interpersonal skills, collaboration); Inventive/Innovative Thinking (incl. managing complexity, curiosity, creativity, synthesis, analysis); High Productivity (incl. prioritization, planning, managing for results)
...we are entering the second decade of the 21st century
some African children are fully ICT literate
ICTs are spreading
and with other challenges, new knowledge, new ways of thinking, new ways of knowing are needed
Where are we now?
What is the nature of the last curriculum and/or assessment reform in your country? When was it? Why was it necessary? Was it a back-to-the drawing board complete redesign? How successful would you say it was, seen from a system perspective? What were the constraints?
successful in “good” schools and teachers; not in others
assessment to match curriculum is too resource demanding: compromise: backwash effect
teacher education not in tune, teacher educators too far behind; teaching still mostly conventional
the education system as a whole is under-resourced
learning constrained by poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy, impact of HIV/AIDS
Curriculum reform is a political process where expertise has to work with different constituencies
Make bullet points: What problems have you encountered when trying to get approval to redesign or change curriculum or assessment, or for changes that have been made? What bodies does approval have to go through ? What constituencies do you have to negotiate with? What sort of arguments supported changes you wanted to make? What sort of arguments constrained the changes you wanted to make?
CURRICULUM USED TO BE THOUGHT TO BE GIVEN (DELIVERED) BUT IT IS APPROPRIATED BY THE LEARNER. ASSESSMENT FINDS OUT HOW MUCH HAS BEEN APPROPRIATED OF THE GIVEN, BUT NOT WHAT ELSE...e.g.
Language Family life Food & health Arts Traditions Locality Beliefs & values Games & sports Skills Learning from the community
...can be “curricularised” like schooling. It is still given... ...and appropriated. It used to be all you needed to know.
Given this knowledge system, curricula are exploding in Africa. Formal education to a large extent replaced the community curriculum. Population Health Demo-cracy, Human Rights HIV/AIDS Environ-ment Commerce Tech nology P.E. Arts Social Science Natural Science Maths English French Portu-guese Mother tongue
but is still largely conventional across the continent.
When pedagogy is practiced as intended, it often causes tensions in relation to community values and culture e.g. especially not questioning elders and traditions.
With virtuality, the changes will be much greater, e.g.: The learner decides what s/he learns, when they learn it, how , and with whom Virtuality is changing the way children think, changing intelligences, and changing meaning Being self-directed, scope and sequence are not given Intuition plays a very large role
The teacher/instructor is no longer the arbiter of knowledge, only of schooling So how do we develop 21st century skills in teachers in Africa? How do we develop 21st century skills in teacher educators in Africa?
Now we are in a stage of formalising virtual learning, and virtualising formal learning Suppose we do something really different...
Suppose we re-classified knowledge Technology Communication Values Health Environment Society Curriculum urriculu
...it would be progress, but still not be enough We could start with the skills, then select and shape the substance, (but leave a lot open) and decide what to assess and how but that would not be enough, because virtuality is even changing epistemology
how can we adapt time, space, grouping to use the full learning potential of virtuality?
how would we curricularise all that?
how would we assess learning?
how would we negotiate all that given our constituencies?
It could be a minimalist process curriculum: Themes to explore and anticipated outcomes The rest is up to the learners and teachers: - learners decide how they will explore the theme, search, shape, present - the teacher models, challenges, supports, gives input where needed - learners and teacher assess - the teacher supplements where necessary
Then the barriers between knowledge systems can disappear: Community Non-formal formal vocational virtual
Will 21st century learning in Africa be education for all? or Will it reproduce the existing structure of the system: an elite gain the skills needed to serve global economic interests? As for the rest....?
Beware!! The discourse of knowledge-based economies is one of competition not cooperation, Individualism not collectivity. How can we ensure that African values imbue learning for the 21st century?